7 signs it’s Christmas

For those of you who are still working, you’re probably well aware and repeating in your head every hour the fact that there are FIVE DAYS TO GO ’til Christmas. YAY!

So to fire that excitement up a little more, and prepare you for the highs and lows that might hit over the festive period, here are seven signs that we’re nearly there. The majority are good but, if not, here’s what to expect and how the bloody hell to cope:

1) You’ll skip the Queen’s Speech
According to a survey on the radio the other day, only 27% of families actually tune into Her Maj on Christmas Day. Our family is not one of them. If she’s on screen as we’re rolling back to the lounge from the dining  room, we might give it a glance, but it’s typically drowned out by a deafening round of tea-pouring or loses out to festive drivel like The Gruffalo (sorry). This year, though, I’d like to watch it. This 89-year-old woman has been fighting our battles for 64 years, taking all the crap that comes with it and having to dress up in pastel suits and speak to people at weekends when all she probably wants to do is Netflix and Chill. She’s packed on the pearls and stayed off the drink ‘til 3pm  on Christmas Day, and that alone deserves a bit of our time.


2) You’ll  forget someone’s present
With so many friends to catch up with in the run up to Christmas, you’re bound to experience a gift mismatch. You went for a card, she went for a gift… FUCK. Surely this has happened to everyone, and depending on the situation, you either brazen it out, have a laugh about it or die on the spot. This has happened to me once or twice and I found that acknowledging it and having a giggle, then surprising them with a lovely, unexpected gift in January works quite well. True, they’ll think you’re a complete heartless wench until then, but come mid-January, you’re back in the good books.


3) You’ll bump into Someone You’d Rather Not
This is a simple sod’s law scenario which becomes ten times more likely when every one of your old acquaintances flocks back to the town you grew up in, just as your week month-long diet of truffles, pigs in blankets and salted peanuts by the bag starts to show. This happened once to me, with an old boyfriend. The split was amicable so there was no threat of tears or an unplanned rant outside House of Fraser but it completely caught me out. I wasn’t expecting it, didn’t know what to say and flushed up like a big red balloon. And he noticed and laughed at it. HAHA! Not. Help yourself by being prepared – think in advance, just for a second, how you’re going to position your life. Are you a) on the verge of signing a record contract b) married to a millionaire or c) doing just fine, thanks very much? Think what you’d do and say, just in case.


4) You’ll have one too many
The most awful part of this scenario is that there’s a large chance that one too many will be had in the company of relatives, rather than friends who have seen it all before. My parents and brother have not yet had the pleasure of witnessing me winking at the kebab man, posing with a lamppost and generally grinding around the dance floor. Anything I say here is probably not going to help once you’ve consumed several glasses of wine – all you can do is hope they all end up as sozzled as you and/or fall asleep and miss the final hours of debauchery.


5) You’ll have to share space with friends and relatives
Bedrooms, bathrooms… you’re going to get closer to relatives. One terrifying, 100/100 on the trauma scale element of this for me is sharing bathrooms. Four years into my relationship with Paul, I am still incapable of “going to the loo” (in human speak, doing a poo, dropping the kids off etc) without cordoning off and soundproofing the room and surrounding areas before, during and after the act, and barking ‘WHERE ARE YOU GOING?’ if Paul should even look in the direction of the bathroom. I have been assured that I am not the only person with public poo fear so.. if this is you, too, and the thought of sharing your personal space makes you strongly consider fasting over Christmas, I’M WITH YOU.


6) You’ll treat yourself in the sales – and feel guilty about it
Scrolling through sale items on Christmas Day feels like a massive kick in the teeth for Santa. But the cheap chunky knits and glittery dresses can’t be ignored. If you’re going for something branded that’s available from more than one shop, check out Kelkoo, which will tell you where you’ll find it cheapest, and sign up to Quidco which will get you cashback with loads of retailers. Right now, there’s 13% cashback at Topshop and Debenhams.


7) You’ll spill Something Bad on Someone’s Carpet
This is the festive moment that will automatically activate slow motion mode and cause multiple swear words to escape your mouth without any consideration or filtering. Thankfully, if your host is cool enough to be having people over for a meal or drinks, they’re probably also sane enough to know that a spillage could be on the cards. But still… #facepalm.


The general rule of thumb and common sense, whatever the spillage, is to scoop or mop up excess fluid and then (thanks, Good Housekeeping):

For carpet:
1. Blot up as much of the wine as possible;
2. Use plain water or mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water;
3. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with plain water or the detergent/vinegar solution. Apply a little bit at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain disappears;
4. If using a detergent/vinegar solution, sponge with cold water and blot dry.

For upholstery:
1. Mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water;
2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution;
3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed;
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears;
5. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

What else would you put on the list?


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