How to survive Christmas

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A COMBINATION of breakfast drinking, Monopoly wars and someone buying you a top labelled two sizes too big are some of the things expected to make Christmas a lot less jolly.

There might be presents, Quality Street and a good ole dose of Shakin’ Stevens – but like every Christmas episode of Eastenders – you can almost guarantee something will end in disaster.


Whether it’s a death stare moment with the in-laws, a drunken uncle who crashes into your shiny new 50” plasma TV, or someone sobbing about the innocently-meant pot of anti-wrinkle cream they received as a gift – the chances of emerging on Boxing Day unscathed is virtually impossible.

You see, I’ve had my fair share of Christmas disasters myself. First there was the year when I dropped my dad’s new phone into a mug of tea after claiming I could beat his Snake 2 score. Then there was the time when my mum made a disastrous attempt to cook duck instead of turkey – resulting in a rather non-traditional meal of Asda chicken slices to go alongside our sprouts.

But possibly the most memorable-for-all-the-wrong reasons moment, was when a relative’s drunken girlfriend thought it would be appropriate to karate chop him whilst wearing a full-blown Karate get-up, (true story) resulting in him requiring a rather swift trip to the emergency room and a rather bruised ego. They broke up a few months later and he seems to have developed a relentless obsession with the gym ever since.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas. I love the giving and receiving of presents, the frantic guzzling of wine and the obscure obsession with creepy-looking Christmas men who walk through the city centre on decorated stilts as adults smile ludicrously and children scream in terror.  I suspect even the self-proclaimed Scrooges out there who think Christmas is all just a big money-grabbing scam have a secret fondness for the festivities, sneaking home to catch a Christmas special of The Royle Family on BBC One.

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However it would be a blatant lie to say we can survive Christmas without some sort of catastrophe. In an ideal world, everyone would be grateful of their gifts, hard liquor wouldn’t cause people to pour out their past grudges and everyone would be patient on waiting their turn to try out the new games console. Unfortunately this simply isn’t always the case, (I’m sure Phil Mitchell would agree) so it’s always good to have some sort of back-up plan to avoid everyone killing each other.

Perhaps one of my main pieces of advice would be to choose wisely when it comes to giving gifts. Yes, it is the thought that counts and yes, it is pretty damned rude for your best friend to scowl at The Idiots Guide To Finding a Non-loser Boyfriend book you bought them off Amazon, however please do refrain from giving gifts that could be considered either insulting, degrading or boring. No-one wants a car air-freshener for Christmas. It reads I’m cheap, you’re my own personal chauffeur and your car smells of a teenage boys’ socks.

A few other survival methods include: feigning interest over stories from the 80s, using spirits as a sort of tranquilliser, cackling manically at your dad’s bad jokes, giving gifts in only cash to your teenage siblings, owning an iPad on of which you can watch your own festive TV programmes on, wearing a tightly secured hat when your niece asks if she can play ‘hairdresser’ with you, buying spare batteries, letting your gran have the last chocolate and finally – wearing earplugs. Hopefully then you’ll be able to make it through to the New Year.

Styletto Mag is a Scottish online magazine which publishes the latest articles on fashion, beauty, shopping and life. The site was founded by journalist Lisa Boyle in August 2011. Styletto Mag is a sleek, easy to access online magazine which features shopping trends, beauty reviews, funny features and women's lifestyle articles. COMING SOON : STYLETTO SHOP - Stay tuned for the Styletto store where you can purchase some amazing one-off vintage pieces, modern, on-trend clothing and accessories to ensure you're always sporting the most coveted items. STYLETTO PRINT EDITION - Soon to be Scotland's best selling magazine, Styletto will be your most glamorous new glossy for women's lifestyle, fashion updates, beauty lust haves and much more. To contribute or submit articles, send them to Lisa Boyle at

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