My brain – much like everyone else's - is very much due for a holiday. With the help of a bag of Cadbury's Magical Elves and the consequential sugar rush, I've thankfully come up with an article for this week.
How to avoid the Christmas dinner inquest.
Christmas dinner, whether young and single, recently coupled up, married or separated is a dreaded event. Case in point, why are you single? When are you getting married? When are you buying a house? Why did you break up? You're not getting any younger.
"LEAVE ME ALONE" you scream before stuffing your face full of food, hoping quietly you can disappear.
The Christmas dinner inquest is not hot, not even slightly. Not even the food is hot because your Nan has been perfecting the table set up for a couple of hours, and Christmas question time alone is probably the reason why you have resentment towards the day.
But this year will be different.
This year you've got a secret weapon – or four, all neatly wrapped in the form of bulletproof avoidant tactics so you can slide past the 'oh you're still single? Oh, you don't own a house? Oh, you have $5 in your savings account?" and all the other questions that come with not having your s*** together.
It is the silly season after all and as the saying goes, if you don't laugh you'll cry. So before you step into Christmas Day surrounded by your successful cousins, unaware grandparents, and clucky parents (Mum just because the psychic told you I would have two kids doesn't mean I'm pregnant) just take a minute to perfect your avoidant technique and if you need some ideas, look no further than this article.
Helpful tips to get through (the dreaded) Christmas Day dinner table inquest:
1.Take a storyline from a well-known rom-com and roll with it
It truly is a nightmare navigating your 20's when you can't escape the mother country and party with Greek men like the Dancing Queen you are but it's just as fun living in your head. Take the storyline from a popular rom-com and recite it until your family forget what they were quizzing you about in the first place.
For example, one time you were absolutely fed up with life and decided to swap houses with a stranger on the other side of the world who was equally sick of life. Everything was going great, you ate heaps of food, drank lots of wine, really immersed yourself in the off the grid vibe.
That is until a very handsome stranger (who happened to be the brother of the person whose house you're renting) knocked on the door presenting himself like a gift from Santa - long story short, you fell in love but you're stuck doing long-distance – thanks Covid.
They will never know the true origin of the story – which is The Holiday.
2.Deflect, deflect, deflect.
I'll fill you in on the secret of being liked. If the person you're chatting to talks about themselves for 98% of the conversation (give or take) they will walk away feeling like it was the best yarn of their goddam life.
It also happens to be the best way to move the attention away from you. Case in point, your grandad keeps asking what your plans for life are but you're in the middle of a quarter-life crisis and have to keep the answers PG so it's a yawn fest of a story.
"Ah, tomorrow I'm planning to lie in the sun all day in an attempt to avoid running into my home town ex-boyfriend, NYE will be a big night followed by wallowing in self-pity on the first day of 2022, I've got to go back to prison - sorry work, on January 10 and that's about it."
So deflect. Ask him what he was doing in his 20's. Oh, he was travelling?? What was that like? What was his favourite place? You probably couldn't care less about the answers but it at least takes the heat off you.
3.Stage a dramatic exit
The most incredible way to get out of Christmas is something you may have steered clear of since the terrible two's but trust me, it's failproof.
Here's the game plan, pretend to be moody the entire day then the minute one of your family members asks you a question a bit too personal or says something you don't like, channel your inner Grinch. Say "Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Double hate. Loathe entirely" while pointing to individual family members then (if you're sober) run outside, get in your car and drive away. If you're not sober going for a walk works just as well.
Everyone will be too worried – and equally pissed off to care about your love life or lack of homeownership!
4. If in doubt, agree
Have you ever been in an argument before with your turd of a brother, smartypants sister, annoying boyfriend (the list goes on) and all they do is agree with you? "You're a piece of work!" you infuriatingly yell, steam coming out of your ears. "I know," they smirk back.
It truly is the most frustrating thing in the world – apart from maybe "I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?". Anyway, it's a fantastic avoidant tactic. There is no conversation when the only words coming out of your mouth are "yes" and "you're so right grandad, buying a house is as easy as it was back in your day."
If all else fails you can just accept that at the end of the day your family want the best for you even if their interrogation makes it seem otherwise, so whether you love or hate Christmas you may as well embrace it for what it is. It only comes once a year after all.