20th December 2017
by Richard Eastwood
Christmas, Festive, Funny, Survival Guide
This paints a picture of Christmas bliss doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled, before long the needles start to fall off the tree and the day starts to take a turn.
Wouldn’t it be just perfect if one brave soul put his head above the Christmas Turkey and created a Dad Survival Guide? You’re in luck! Here’s my guide to surviving Christmas, DAD style…
Be aware some of these are only…FOR THE BRAVE!
Have a what?!? An important rule, numero uno for me is to have a lie in. Why? Simple, Christmas is the ONE day you don’t have to be anywhere. No rushing around with School drop-offs, rush hour snarl-ups, or as I like to call it ‘There ain’t party like an M40 party’ and no deadlines to meet or boardroom battle-axes to endure. How do you do it? What is considered a lie in, for discerning modern father? Let’s answer the first question. Be STRONG, stick to a time, if a lie in for you is 6am then that’s your time. Secondly, 6am isn’t a lie in, make it 7.30am, grow some! Christmas Day is a marathon, enjoy your kids, don’t peak too soon.
Do you have the kind of parents in-law to give any brave man a feeling of dread? Like a scene from ‘Meet the parents’? If so, I feel bad for you son, I’ve got 99 problems but I can safely say an in-law ain’t one! If you are one of the unlucky ones, then I have a few tips to help you through it;
– Take a trip to your local brewery. Doesn’t have to be a brewery, any alcohol will do but it’s a special occasion and you need to get through it, so push the boat out (it will help, trust me).
– Set a time, whether it’s a time to receive or arrive at the in-laws, set their expectations in advance.
– Practice your carving techniques. There may be a special moment, when you become a true man! Your father in-law hands down the honour and prestige of cutting the bird…Don’t screw it up, smash it!
– Be happy about the time you spend with the in-laws, it helps. Even if it pains you, (this is where the earlier trip to the brewery takes effect). Positivity in any experience will put you in good stead.
Resist the urge to put all of your special moments on social media, having your kids pampered #NoFilter ready at (7.30am) is only going to end in tears. They’re going to be smothered in chocolate by 8am anyways, wait until after the bird is eaten. They will be more coercive and more likely to smile for the camera, now they’ve been drizzled with all the Christmas goodness!
A very important rule. There could be a part of the day when you need to escape, take a moment. Make sure your man cave is tidy, an organised man cave is a peaceful one (this is not a euphemism).
Another important rule, comes with a warning…A good bonding experience with the father in-law, if you can, go for a cheeky beer at your local on Christmas Day. Always a great atmosphere…Your beer never tasted as good and the camaraderie is palpable.
You know the story, child ‘A’ gets a new shiny remote control car and is very excited to play with it, Dad feels great, top marks all-round. Until you realise the controls require a certain type of battery. Rather unsurprisingly there aren’t any 9 Volt batteries in the cupboard. Your earlier triumph of finally making it to 5 star Dad was short lived, now relegation is on the horizon, a quite tragic fall from grace! Golden rule, get the batteries in before it’s too late!
We’ve all been there, your tranquil morning, kids in their pyjamas (no stress), 7.30am wake up and then midday comes around. Everyone and their neighbour floods in to your home which is great, more the merrier, if they leave within a acceptable timeframe. There’s always at least one couple or an Uncle who enjoys your company a little too-much! How do you combat this? Well, you can take two routes. First one is slightly off-piste and a little maverick. Second puts you in the hall of fame list of Dads at Christmas. So, first option; don’t invite anyone over, send out a pre-warning message you’d like to spend time with only your wife and kids this Christmas. Second option and potentially the most popular is to create takeaway gift bags. My recommendation is to include a selection of food (Turkey), alcohol and chocolates. Instantly becoming a Dad legend!
Don’t bother trying to organise ‘what to watch’ on Christmas Day, your tribe is either high on e-numbers or worse for wear from Grandpa’s homemade Gin. Organising a film on Christmas Day is a no-no. Do it the week before then sit back and relax!
Honestly, just avoid it!
Lots of over eating happens at Christmas, don’t undo all your hard gym work. Plan a few solid days of hitting the gym with extra effort before the big day. A solid pre-gym routine will be the perfect equaliser for guzzling down beer and Christmas nibbles.