Going home for a family Christmas? London has prepared you well.
Living in London makes you tougher, smarter, poorer. But it also teaches you valuable life lessons that you can use to survive Christmas with the family. Secret London, dispensers of wisdom and knowledge, is here to show the way.
1. You know when not to make eye contact.
In London, this is usually exercised on the tube, in order to not commit the cardinal sin of interacting with strangers. It’s a skill you’ve surely mastered by now. So when Uncle Geoff launches into his famous one man show, A Very Brexit Christmas, you know where to look. At the ground, up into space, or directly into your mulled wine. He’ll stop eventually (you hope).
2. Food is religion.
We’re a foodie lot here in the capital. This is even more apparent at Christmas, making this one of those particularly topical life lessons. Family, festive cheer, presents, they’re all important, but Christmas is first and foremost a foodie holiday. Living in the UK’s food capital will help you remain focused when trivial distractions like grandparents try to get in the way.
3. The word ‘bottomless’ is music to your ears.
On Christmas Day, everything is bottomless. The food. The booze. The presents (we wish). None of it fazes you. You’ve trained for this all year. Every bottomless brunch has taught you how to manage one more pancake, another slice of pizza, that last glass of prosecco. Perhaps the most valuable of all these life lessons, this will help you put away everything that comes your way.
4. You can handle awkward encounters.
Spotting exes on the tube or running into the recipient of your drunken confessions has all been crucial practice for today. Now, you’re well equipped to deal with whatever Christmas can throw at you. Sample questions:
“Why do you work in Costa Coffee when you have a Masters degree?”
“You’re a pretty thing, how are you still single?”
“What do you mean, you spent £200 on brunch last month?”
These aren’t cakewalks, and once upon a time, they would have tripped you up. However, any awkwardness/shame you once felt is gone, purged by being young and irresponsible in London. Go forth and conquer, my child.
5. You appreciate the value of freebies.
Yes, it’s another bloody moan about the high cost of living in London. Bah humbug. You’d be a fool not to take advantage of Christmas generosity (and your parents), by purloining as much free stuff as you can. Leftover food? That means you won’t have to buy lunch for a week! Spare booze? Don’t be ridiculous, of course that’s coming with you.
6. Nothing can stop a Londoner.
The rest of the UK will call it impatience or rudeness. We all know it as determination. Tube strikes, tourists, wild weather – nothing will stand between a Londoner and their goal. Here, the goal is get home for Christmas, survive it, and then high-tail it back to London for New Year’s Eve and another smashing year in the capital. Your training is now complete – London has taught you well!