1. Hit kids with Wii U controllers
For the rest of the year you feed your gaming addiction in private, communicating only with your online troops via headsets. So when on December 25 you're encouraged to play on the Wii U with your nephew, is it any wonder that you serve the controller into his fresh, pudgy, little face? And why does your sister seem upset when you do the sprinkler dance over his sobbing, prostrate form? It's the only way he'll learn…
2. Send e-cards
It's Boxing Day, and your swollen torso, soundly stuffed with Stilton and port, has been downgraded from explosive to merely uncomfortable, when you realise you forgot to send your nan a Christmas card. You waddle, guilt-wracked to the computer and try to find an animation that doesn't scream “I forgot about you”. Settling on a festive dancing giraffe you click send and retire to the living room for a celebratory brandy. Then you remember that your nan doesn't actually own a computer… Oh well.
3. Listen to music while you eat
You've been in control of the Christmas dinner playlist since you got your first iPod nearly a decade ago. The art of perfecting the mood to keep festive spirits up and prevent family feuds is a complex one. Cue a stressed you kneeling in front of the B&W Zeppelin Wireless, deliberating over whether The Pogues should follow Mogwai as crackers are pulled and the gravy starts to congeal around the Brussels sprouts.
4. Text everyone in your phonebook
“Happy Xmas all! Hope you find love and happiness with your nearest and dearest! Eat, drink (lots) and be merry!” How thoughtful of you; the laundrette, your local Domino's, your ex and your plumber will be deeply touched.
5. Cook something for more than two hours
You lavish more care and attention on caressing, smearing, stuffing and basting a bird at Christmas than you would do over trivial matters such as, say, filling in your tax return (you did remember to do that, didn't you?). You're even willing to shell out for a meat thermometer to check that the fowl's innards are exactly 84.7ºC. Well, best to be sure; you're gonna be eating it for the next two weeks, after all.
6. Watch films with Chevy Chase in them
Ah Chevy. Thirty years ago he had the world at his feet, but every time you watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation you get a little bit more bemused at why this sentient smirk, this wise-cracking WASP of military-grade smugness, ever made it big. You still watch it though, because you like the bit where the cat gets electrocuted.
7. Download a budgeting app
You have December all worked out on your snazzy new app. You've budgeted £200 for presents, £300 on going out, £150 on travel, £100 on that new jacket, and the rest for bills, rent and food. Come December 4 you'll wake up from a two-day egg-nog binge to find a receipt in your pocket for an iPad Pro and “Cristal x2 @ £400” and you'll have lost your phone. Still, at least the app was free…
8. Use your chainsaw
Every year you buy the biggest tree from the fingerless-gloved man outside your local train station, seemingly forgetting that you don't have 20-foot ceilings. Faced with the reality of your less than palatial abode you have no choice but to invest in a top of the range Husqvarna chainsaw. Balancing the offending fir's trunk on the sofa arm you're ready to chop wood. Careful: it's hard to carve a turkey with only one hand.
9. Take photos inside your office
Those unlucky enough to have their office Christmas party actually in the office will know that seeing your place of work in a photo, no matter how good the camera, makes it look a thousand times more grey and depressing than it actually is. If you're in a paper hat, holding a plastic beaker of warm Cava, the bleakness is compounded. Want to thank us for all our hard work over the year, boss? Then let us hire a room above a pub. Even just letting us go home would be preferable, in fact.
10. Boil wine
Mmm… So you've taken my best bottle of Barolo, boiled it with what appears to be bits of wood and the satsumas from the bottom of the kids' stockings. It smells like a Glade plug-in and you've ruined all the saucepans. Cheers!
Image credit: Sad and tired teenager courtesy of Shutterstock