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22nd Dec 2015

Christmas Day survival guide: The challenges you can expect to face…

Simon Lloyd

Christmas Day is usually a happy time that should be spent with your nearest and dearest – but that’s not to say it goes by without one or two hiccups.

With that in mind, here are some of the challenges faced by British men up and down the country on December 25…

Accepting disappointing gifts

Part and parcel (pardon the pun) of growing up is that Christmas presents become more and more disappointing.

Whereas back in the day, you’d get a Sega Megadrive or a Playstation with Tomb Raider off your parents, nowadays you’ll be lucky to get a set of screwdrivers.

One of the first challenges you’ll face on Christmas Day is the art of pretending to be delighted with the hot water bottle cover you’ve received off your Nan, or the six-month supply of Lynx deodorant packs you’ve been given by your aunties. Joy.

The “Oh sh*t I’ve left the price on” moment

No matter how hard you try, this is almost guaranteed to happen. As is often the case with many men, wrapping presents is a complex procedure – it’s inevitable something will go wrong.


Usually, it’s that you forget to take the price tag off. Typically, it will be the one label that still has reference to the 50% discount – or ‘Esso’, ‘Texaco’ or ‘BP’ printed on it.

Awkward Chritmas dinner table conversations

With the exchanging of presents out of the way, Christmas dinner brings about its own challenges.

If it’s a large family gathering, the chances are there will be a couple of people around the table that haven’t always seen eye to eye – with the awkwardness increasing as more and more booze is consumed.


If you’re after a quiet life, power through and embrace the awkwardness. Or you could try speaking your mind…

Accepting that not all Christmas dinners are like your Mum’s

Although there will always be turkey, sprouts and a bit of bread sauce, what else appears on your Christmas dinner plate varies greatly up and down the country.

If you’re not around your Mum’s table this year, be prepared for this. After all…

…it’s Christmas dinner – you have to eat it.

No matter how much it hurts, there’s an expectancy that Christmas dinner should always be finished – especially if you’re at the in-laws’ house and your wife or girlfriend is giving you that look.

If you haven’t prepared the meal, there’s even more reason to make sure you don’t leave a scrap. After all the effort and stress if preparing it, you’ll deeply offend wheoever’s made it if you fail to eat it all.

Feeling like you’re about to give birth to twins after eating a full Christmas dinner

Having polished off a full Christmas dinner, licked the plate clean and followed it with a few dollops of trifle or some rank cake that’s been made by one of your aunties, you will almost certainly struggle to move.


It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re about to recreate that famous scene in Alien where some weird creature bursts through your abdomen. This is perfectly normal, so wait for it to pass before you squeeze another beer in.

Tolerating kids

While some will tell you that the magic of Christmas is about seeing the smiles on the faces of kids, they also have an uncanny ability to p*ss you right off.

With a pile of presents waiting for them in the morning, they think the whole day revolves around them. The selfish little b*stards.

Take any opportunity you get to thrash your ten-year-old cousin on FIFA on his brand new Xbox, and keep asking him “Isn’t it your bedtime?”

Convincing your partner that you haven’t had too much to drink

There’s always a danger of overdoing it when it comes to alcohol consumption on Christmas Day.

For many women, the mere suspicion that their partner is even slightly intoxicated in front of family members warrants the iciest of stares.

A refusal to curb your drinking at this point will only end badly… especially if she’s planning to head to the Boxing Day sales the next day.