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.

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How to appear slightly younger than you are

ARE you sad about being quite old? Here are some ways to look younger that might just convince people to knock a few years off your age. 

Be in a band

Being in a band is quite cool, even if you’re 45 and playing ‘Enter Sandman’ as if you’re headlining Reading, when in fact your actual venue is a tiny local festival full of knackered parents and their small children who are only there for the face-painting.

Take drugs but with masses of hassle getting them

Buying drugs was easy when all your friends were into E. Now find it incredibly hard to score because your best druggie mate only has a spliff as a Christmas treat and just wants to talk about finding a good local primary school.

Wear trainers

Now the dominant footwear of the entire globe, trainers are still a bit cooler than traditional leather shoes. However your coolness may be undermined when you visit your elderly parents and discover them both wearing the latest Nike Air Max because they’re ‘just so comfy when you’re doing the gardening’.

Expensive hairdressing

With more cash, you can get a far better haircut than when you were 20. Unfortunately your dated tastes will mean you come out looking like Jennifer Aniston or Paul Weller. Alternatively go for a trendy hipster hairstyle and, if male, a beard. That should fool some people from a distance.

Be into gaming 

Computer games are more sophisticated than ever before – a new, developing art form, even. Sadly you’ll still look like an adolescent loser when you try to explain the satisfaction of strategically deploying your carefully crafted space marine platoon in the Arachnoid base.