How to have an Epicurean Christmas

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I thought I would share some tips on how to have the best Christmas possible. For me, Christmas is a lovely time, and always has been. But I realise many people are looking to tomorrow with trepidation. The problem with Christmas, at least in the Western world, is that too much stress accompanies the holiday. Whether you are celebrating Christmas for religious reasons, or simply because it’s our culture, everyone ought to be able to relax. Here’s my advice on how to:

  1. Don’t spend too much money. If you believe Christmas is about having the most lavish lunch, or buying family the most luxurious presents, then you are doing the occasion wrong. Rather, spend no more than what you feel comfortable spending. If certain family members have unreasonable exceptions as to what Christmas ought to consist of, better to let them down than give in to peer pressure. I personally believe excessive lighting around the house, decorations covering all the furniture and a massive Christmas tree are vulgar and in bad taste.
  2. Avoid family arguments, even if it means ‘losing.’ Better to accept someone else’s point and enjoy the rest of the day than get caught up in a dispute or debate. You may have an uncle who supports Trump, or even a friend who is pro-Putin (as I do), but you must simply let them make their point and move on. Getting into a heated argument only ruins the festive and joyful nature of the holiday.
  3. Follow Epicurus’ advice and avoid politics altogether. This is kind of related to number 2, but I find it is better to avoid politics entirely, even if you think everyone agrees on a particular subject. There are far more cheery subjects to talk about. Particularly in Britain, there is too much politics nowadays. We all deserve a break, even if it is only for once a year.
  4. Definitely avoid excessive drinking. There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine at lunch, or a bit of brandy on the pudding. But Christmas is not the time to get drunk. So much can go wrong. You may accidentally say or do something embarrassing in front of the whole family. Worse, drunk people are more confrontational and even aggressive. You’ll want to keep a cool head for the whole day, especially if there’s someone you know will get on your nerves.
  5. Don’t spend all day in front of the TV. Some families do, and it ruins the social nature of the occasion. Instead, I believe it’s best to avoid electronic devices altogether, even electronic presents- you’ll have plenty of time to use them on Boxing Day. Rather, board games, Pictionary, Charades, card games and other amusements are equally fun, and far more interesting. Games where you get to know your family better are the best ones.
  6. Invite as many people as you can comfortably host. Christmas is one of these occasions where the more really is the merrier. Having more people makes for a livelier and more special day. If the day feels like just another regular meal with the immediate family, then you won’t have as much fun.
  7. Save the presents until well after Christmas lunch. This is a family tradition of ours. Opening the presents with everyone else is a great moment. It gives you a chance to say thank you properly to those that bought you your presents. It’s also something to look forward to, and it keeps you occupied for much of the day. Opening the presents early in the morning means you miss a euphoric moment when everybody is happy because they’ve got something new.
  8. Never compare the current Christmas with Christmasses in the past, or Christmasses at other people’s houses. Only reflect on how the day is going once Christmas is over. This helps avoid any feelings of disappointment or inadequacy.
  9. Not strictly related to Christmas, but don’t go shopping on Boxing Day. You may have vouchers you desperately want to spend or a horrifically ugly jumper that needs returning. But so does everyone else. You’re far better off avoiding the mayhem and shopping when the crowds have gone. If you’re anything like me, you won’t enjoy shopping even at the best of times. You may as well make the experience as painless as possible.
  10. Don’t eat too much. You may enjoy the deliciousness of the food at the moment. But your stomach won’t forgive you. You’ll feel more tired more quickly. And it’ll make that New Year’s Resolution of trying to lose weight that much harder.

I wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas! If you’d like me to do more advice guides, or simply more non-political posts, please say. Equally, if you think all my advice is nonsense and a waste of a post, I’ll stick to politics from now on.

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