Speaking from experience, we have compiled the ultimate guide for you to survive the next three months and to welcome 2020 with your family ties and work relations intact, at the prize of a banging headache and self-loathing. Drink up, people!

It‘s only October, but we all know how shit-fast autumn is and Christmas is peeking around the corner, hijacking your bank account, your ideas, potentially your will to live and you‘ll develop explicit daydreams how to derail Chris Rea‘s car when he‘s Driving Home for Christmas.

Right now, you might be looking forward to walks along the canal, getting cake and coffee, and enjoying the last warm rays of sunshine but let‘s face it, before you know it, it‘s Thanksgiving. And then it‘s Christmas. And the run up to Christmas means work parties. And there‘ll be Christmas work parties. You will attend one and you constantly will be in the vicinity of other pre-Christmas parties because everything is booked months in advance. Also, family reunions. Now, you may love your family. You may enjoy spending time with family. But we all know we peak for better – and for worse – at Christmas. 

Politics is a no-no

The thing that will get you through all of this alive is to avoid talking politics. Avoid the climate crisis, from what I have heard it is the new ‘refugee crisis’. At least in the sense of irrational arguments being thrown around and old people nodding in approval whilst the younger generation is not allowed to point fingers or raise arguments that are a little uncomfortable because “you haven’t paid taxes long enough” and just “do not know what they (the older generations) are talking about.”

Whilst we are on it: avoid Brexit talk. Avoid Trump talk. Avoid abortion talk. The Amazon burning (uh that plays into the climate crisis). Avoid smashing the patriarchy (white men go through a lot at the moment). And yeah, still avoid talking about asylum seekers and migration, legal or illegal, and, most importantly, sea rescue operations because “not everyone can come here.”

However, it’s just infinitely more important to keep the mood harmonious, to keep your family happy, to secure your inheritance, to keep the birthday vouchers from grandma coming, to not give the insufferable c***s at work anything to torment you with in the next 11 months. It’s just so you keep your mental state in check and avoid being yelled at and called a “leftist, a dreamer, an emotional debater, and an unrealistic do-gooder”

Now, it will not be easy. If it’s a cold, wet, snowy December, you will hear shit like: “Look ha and they say the world is getting warmer, duh, right Karen?”, “I mean boys what is the deal with the ice caps anyways, the ice in my G&T melted and is my drink overflowing?!”, “HOHOHO who has been naughty this year” (followed by a clap on your bum by your colleague – or even better, superior). All of this, of course, is not ok. However, it’s just infinitely more important to keep the mood harmonious, to keep your family happy, to secure your inheritance, to keep the birthday vouchers from grandma coming, to not give the insufferable c***s at work anything to torment you with in the next 11 months. It’s just so you keep your mental state in check and avoid being yelled at and called a “leftist, a dreamer, an emotional debater, and an unrealistic do-gooder”. 

Drinking your way out of it like a pro

The thing is: you need to get drunk. Fast. Fast because initially, drinking makes you courageous and bold and it might make you wanting to disregard your noble intentions of staying away from politics. The new found confidence brought to you by Baileys on ice number 5 or 13, depending on your tolerance, is a false friend. It has tricked you into thinking that you might change someone’s mind with your passionate alcohol-infused speech. You won’t though. 

It’s when you discover that actually, you always hated Angela in accounting. It’s the bliss of finding out that it’s heaven to just let your guard down and get juicy with the gossip, telling everyone that Kelly from finance laughs like a horse and your cousin Tom is still a virgin.

You need to keep drinking, until the confidence is surpassed by the state of negligence where all pranks seem to be the best idea ever. It’s when you discover that actually, you always hated Angela in accounting. It’s the bliss of finding out that it’s heaven to just let your guard down and get juicy with the gossip, telling everyone that Kelly from finance laughs like a horse and your cousin Tom is still a virgin.

The end state: the bottom

It’s important that you power through and find your way into the abyss of recognising that the world is in a shit state and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. 

This is when you order Jäger bombs for your colleagues, that no one wants so you drink them alone. This is when you tell your sister that you never liked her husband. That you tell your mother that her mince pies are shit.

Shortly after, you will cradle the half empty bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, forget to take an aspirin before bed and wake up to a screaming headache, your phone silently buzzing in the Uber from last night, miles away. 

Happy Christmas. Don’t drink and drive.

The bitter finale | Photo: AmandaB3, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

Cover photo: natlasCC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

  • retro

    Friederike Sandow loved her studies at the University of Bath and Berlin, she would study forever if she could. Once she quit her job as a flight attendant and thus, with a heavy heart, was not constantly off travelling the world, she started to roam the streets of Neukölln, Berlin. She is now working as a consultant at a Berlin based agency and still struggles with the regular office hours. Once the morning grumpiness has been cured with a big cup of coffee, she‘ll tell you all about her undying love for cats, octopuses, Italy and Leslie Knope.

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