Last year, many of our Christmas plans were thrown into disarray as restrictions were introduced mere days before the 25th. This time around, however, it seems like (touchwood) Christmas plans have just about made it to the finish line, and we’ll be allowed to celebrate with loved ones. But, this won’t be the case for everyone. Maybe you and your housemates are finishing off a period of isolation after coming down with Omicron; maybe your train home was cancelled; or perhaps your usual big family gathering seems a bit scary in the current times. Hey, some of you might just do this every year!
Whatever the reason, a lot of us might just be sticking around at home this year. And regardless of if we love or hate our housemates, we might have to plan a wholesome day with them. Whether it’s your boyfriend, your best friend, or some random from SpareRoom, here’s our essential guide to surviving Christmas Day with your housemates.
1. Make sure dinner is a team effort
You probably have the urge to recreate your Mum’s every move this Christmas, but keep in mind that it’s not just your family that has traditions. Make the day (and the dinner) a team effort, so everybody can have their Christmas comfort of choice while away from home. Oh, and don’t forget to agree on who’s doing the washing and the drying afterwards…
2. Stock up on plenty of booze
Whether you get on or are usually passing ships, you’re probably gonna need lots of alcohol to stay entertained the entire day. If you’re isolating, make sure you get one big ‘ol delivery in from the off licence.
3. Plan a day of fun activities
This is a fun way to shake it up whether you’re with family or not – because let’s face it, Christmas day can get pretty boring when you’re an adult. Whether it’s brewing up some mulled wine in the evening, or playing a few board games while you settle your tums, adding a little bit of a structure to the day can ensure there’s no awkward quiet time where you inevitably sit and reflect on how much you wish you were spending the day with someone else.
4. Avoid social media
Not only will sitting on your phone all day make you look pretty rude, but also – no one needs smug reminders from those who did make it home this Christmas. Turn off Instagram and immerse yourself in the tele instead this Christmas.
5. Create a TV schedule
Because not everybody loves Mrs Brown’s Boys (trust me!). Compromise is your best friend here. Whether it’s the Queen’s Speech that floats your boat, or a good ol’ Christmas classic – planning ahead will save some pretty petty arguments on the big day.
6. Have your family on Facetime standby
Need a bit of a buffer from socialising? Have some time blocked out to speak to your family, providing both a little bit of normality and a break away just when you need it the most.
7. Christmas day baths are your saviour
If you’re really struggling with the change, run yourself a hot bath and enjoy a quiet read for a bit. You can pass it off as a Christmas day tradition that you “do every year” while sneaking yourself a little bit of a breather while you’re at it.
8. Remember that you don’t have to act fake overjoyed when your Grandma gifts you yet another [insert garish gift here]
While it’s the thought that counts, it’s definitely pretty awkward receiving an unwanted gift. Just be thankful that this year, you can both give and receive gifts by mail – avoiding any awful soap-style acting when you open something you don’t like.
9. Don’t remind them of those 30 times they forgot to take the bins out
Christmas day isn’t the time to argue over who does the most housework, so it’s best to leave that one out this year. Enjoy your day together, and let the bin battle recommence on Boxing Day.
10. Use it as an opportunity to make new traditions
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do on Christmas day that your family weren’t on board with? Use this opportunity to make Christmas day your own. Whether it’s a cheeky Mimosa in the morning or Christmas dinner later in the day – embrace the change and do the big day exactly as you wish (with the agreement of your housemate(s), of course).