Around this time of year, you read articles in magazines giving you tips to make Christmas easier. Most of them are complete crap. Don’t listen to them. Instead read my Tips of Yuletidey Goodness for the best Christmas ever.
1. Generic gifts, don’t do them. Some friends of mine do the generic gift thing. During the year they buy up cheap candles and books from discount shops and the like then come Christmas, they divvy them for the people on their gift giving list. That really makes a girl feel special! If someone can’t make the time and effort to go out and buy a gift especially for me then I don’t want it. If you have friends who do this or if you do this yourself for people, then maybe it’s time to stop exchanging gifts – you’re only doing it out of obligation anyway and who needs that shit anyway!
2. Emergency Gifts, don’t do them. You always read those hints about buying a gift or two to wrap in case an unexpected visitor turns up at Christmas time. What a load of bunk. Imagine this, right. I go home for Christmas and my mum drags my off to see old Aunty Whosit, that I’ve not seen since I was yay high. So she drags a gift wrapped cake of Cashmere Bouquet soap from under the tree. That’s not going to make me feel all festively happy. I’m going to know it’s her ‘oh fuck’ gift and she’s going to know I know. It’s going to be awkward and uncomfortable and really not worth the fuss for a cake of soap. Sometimes fine hospitality is the greatest gift of all.
If you forget to buy someone a gift then maybe it’s because you don’t really like them. Cut them off your list.
3. Don’t get into insane gift-giving spirals of doom. So last year Mrs Jones from across the way gave you a plate of her homemade shortbread and this year you feel like you should give her something in return. It’s never going to end up well. Within a few years, you’ll be spending most of October and November sweating it out in the kitchen because you’re giving gifts to everyone within a 5 km radius of your house. And think about it – did Mrs Jones give you those treats because she wanted you be guilt-wracked and anxious? Do you think she wants your obligation cookies? Sometimes receiving graciously is the greatest gift of all.
4. You don’t have to buy EVERYONE gifts. I didn’t know until this year that people give gifts to their kids schoolteachers. Who’d have thought it? Then I realised I gave them the greatest gift of all – I gave them the gift of my son to educate for the year. And that’s like the most Christmassy thing of all because if you believe in the whole Christian thing, Christmas is about God giving his son to to the world. Also, teachers don’t need another tin of talcum powder, really they don’t.
That’s it. The basic rule of thumb here is – if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. If you love spending hours baking cookies then that’s all well and good but if you hate it then just stop. Eat the things you enjoy, be with the people you love. If people get offended then screw them. Hopefully they’ll still not be talking to you by next year and that will be one less stress on the Christmas list.