At this stage of the game, it’s really a miracle that I can still string a sentence together. I’m limping to the finish line sustained only by wine, Christmas carols and chocolate Santas. I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with 2016. I’m done.
But, because 2016 has been a nasty little bastard from the very beginning and is determined to hang on till it half kills us, there are still three weeks left. Three weeks in which we will likely be bombarded with the following:
“Make an organic, recycled, vegan-friendly cardboard reindeer to put in your guest bathroom!”
“Try eating only walnut shells so you can fit into your Christmas dress!”
“Use all that free time you don’t have to unleash your creative genius and paint your own wrapping paper to impress your friends and family who will probably rip it off without looking at it!”
“Prepare for summer by removing every single strand of hair on your body/spray tanning everything apart from your eyeballs/drinking nothing but a gentle blend of mushrooms and cat piss for a detox that will truly make you feel like a goddess!”
FFS. Kill me now.
The only piece of solace I can really offer is that we’re all in this together. And in that spirit, here are my five top tips for surviving the last three weeks of the year. I’m no expert, just another human dragging her tired bones through each long, humid day, but I hope that you might find at least some of these helpful.
Kia kaha, whānau. We’re nearly there. In the meantime…
1. Feel free to swear at any ridiculous articles you come across
If I read something absurd in a magazine, I’ve found that it helps me greatly to shout, “fuck off!” into the ether. It seems to matter very little whether anyone can actually hear me. Voicing my distaste seems to be enough to get me through another December day.
2. Put two full glasses of water, a box of panadol, and a packet of chips beside your bed before you head out to any Christmas parties you think might get out of hand.
Your head will thank you in the morning. Trust me.
3. Avoid places where there will be dense concentrations of small children in the presence of Santa (apart from on actual Christmas day, you monster) if at all possible.
I’m a big proponent of Christmas spirit, but Santa + small kids usually means either immense running-all-over-the-place-squealing excitement or eardrum-splitting screaming. Or both. Neither are particularly conducive to dealing with already frayed nerves. Especially when you’re not related to any of the whippersnappers in question. If you are related to them, I’m sorry. I can’t help you. It’s meant to be different when they’re your own kids, right? …Right? #NotAllKids?*
4. Remember that the sun is basically that guy you were in love with in your teens even though he treated you like shit.
It’s such a bloody tease, the sun. Playing peek-a-boo through the clouds for months on end while we all lust after it. When it finally shows up in earnest, we’re all gagging for some action. Then it burns through about 7 layers of membranes and you end up with swollen, red, blistered skin, a headache and chills. Slip, slop, slap, and wrap, folks!
5. Say no to unnecessary extra effort! And say yes to help!
I can’t stress this enough. This time of year is great for guilting women into performing entirely unnecessary feats of both domestic and professional magic. The kind of magic that actually just makes your head spin with exhaustion. If someone offers to help you to make Christmas dinner, say yes! If someone asks you to organise a leaving party for a colleague you hardly know just because, “oh but you’re so good at organising things!” say no. Kindly, but firmly. Sanity is finite this time of year. Don’t expend it if you don’t have to.
And that’s all I’ve got. Good luck, friends. See you at the other end!
*I really hope I haven’t offended any parents out there. Your kids are awesome, I’m sure. I’ve just got sensitive eardrums, a short, ratty fuse and way too much Christmas shopping to do. Hell, who am I to judge? If I could throw a tantrum right now, I would. x