Five hellish Christmas things you’re already being pressured into

YOU’VE already been press-ganged into the work Christmas party, now your family and friends are at it too. Here’s some of the festive punishment they’ve got lined up.

Your school friends’ annual catch-up

Really just a chance to discover how little you’ve got in common with your school friends each year. You’ll end up going to avoid them thinking you hate them, which, frankly, you do. Be sure to mentally prepare yourself for gripping anecdotes about new cars and “my wife’s second career in pilates”. 

The family Secret Santa draw

The family-wide Secret Santa system was intended to save you all money on presents, but it comes at a cost – spending hours with your weird relatives and feigning delight at some rubbish present like a desk tidier you know your skinflint Auntie Joan only got because it was dirt cheap in Wilko.

Provincial theatre panto

If you don’t go people might think you’re a snob who’s got above their station because you now live somewhere with a passable cultural life and more than one bus a week. Therefore you are condemned to watch a version of Dick Whittington whose only attraction is some woman out of Coronation Street, which you don’t even watch.

Midnight mass

It always sounds cute and romantic, like a Richard Curtis film, but really you only enjoy the three-minute period in which you’re blasting out Ding Dong Merrily on High. They don’t even give out mulled wine any more, due to that unfortunate incident with the vicar collapsing.

Wreath-making with your mum

A certain type of mum is really into wreath-making at Christmas, even though it’s tedious and fiddly and wreaths are quite morbid. Knuckle down to it and hope she doesn’t notice you’ve quietly drunk an entire bottle of sherry to alleviate the boredom.