For the past few weeks a simple phrase has come to mind every time I brace myself before opening the door in the morning.. “I just can’t even.” The inner basic girl in me has come marching out and she wants “fall and PSLs” back. I dream about the crunch of leaves beneath my Ugg boots and the autumnal glow of rosy cheeks (as opposed to the wind swept, wet dog look I’ve been rocking lately).
Each year is the same. Come March I’ve completely forgotten the woes of wearing leggings under jeans for five months or that I’ve moaned about being cold EVERY DAY since October. I think about how great London is in the sun and so soon are thoughts of being trampled on the tube by damp commuters a thing of the past. But these few months of winter struggle feel like my Everest and each year, around December 12th, I begin to contemplate moving countries.
But the truth is still that I’m here, albeit wrapped up in my duvet at 4PM on a Friday wondering if my boyfriend will bring date night to my bed… And I don’t mean in a Full Monty sort of way. I need soup and Netflix. I have some time to mull over how to survive another festive season in London…
- Dress appropriately. If you wear black you might blend into the greyness of the Big Smoke and the daily trudge of life… Try to brighten your wardrobe with a signature neon jumper that says “don’t trample me down banal routine of life, I’m here!”
- Be culturally aware. Not everyone understands all the different cultural complexities of this festive period. One day you’ll buy your boyfriend’s flatmate an advent calendar and one day early in December you’ll walk into his apartment and see him sprawled on the sofa, advent calendar ripped to shreds and the guilt of a school boy just caught with a slingshot.
- Indulging in alcohol. One mulled wine good. Two mulled wines better. A couple of glasses of Prosecco and a Savvy B later and you’ve tripped over your own feet and sprained your ankle just in time for busy season at work. Lesson one: don’t mix your drinks. Lesson two: don’t wear shoes too big for you because they looked cool and didn’t have your size.
- Matching outfits. The only way to get your boyfriend to wear matching Christmas jumpers is through trickery, bribery and guilt trips. You’ll never get any photographic proof but the warm fuzzy feeling of finally breaking his will is enough evidence to keep you satisfied until Halloween rolls around.
- Santa. There’s only one man in a suit I want to bring me presents. Unfortunately I used up all his money feeding myself mince pies and ordering extra lives on Candy Crush, but we can always hope right…
- Talking about Santa, let’s talk presents. As an expert of retail land (watch out for another post on surviving retail at Christmas) I have the best insider knowledge on how to get the most out of your Christmas shopping sprees. Where to go, what secret hipster shop has a sample sale on the run up to Christmas, what days and times to avoid and to raid Oxford Street… My best advice? Go online.
- Find yourself alone at an awkward Christmas party? I like to indulge in a bottle of wine in the corner by myself when I first arrive. Then lie about my life completely and reel off some elaborate story about being once engaged to a Russian oligarch, getting trapped by a bear after snooping around our castle and running away two years ago… And that’s what brought me to the party. Or you could trust your own personality tell the truth I dunno, whatever.
- What to get your other half. It’s always a dilemma, especially when sharing your first Christmas together. Should you go big, or should you go home (and google present ideas)… Do you attempt to think of something sentimental and then realise you spend all your time together talking about yourself, that time you ate a lizard by mistake or internet cats and you decide to go big and just eat package noodles for January and hope he doesn’t leave you.
- Public transport/Christmas markets after December 15th/main roads/anywhere with people. Avoid. After December 15th the Christmas furore gets all too much for me. I only travel in the depths of night or early in the morning and only by side streets wearing a cape.
- Embrace all forms of the festive season. Maybe you’re too broke to buy a Christmas tree. Or maybe you just didn’t want to carry anything heavier than a small puppy from a shop to your apartment. You don’t need to be TRADITIONAL like some sort of schmuck. Innovate… You’re the children of the future for Santa’s sake. Embrace change and challenge conformity. Get a bamboo Christmas tree and start loving life.
Merry Christmas (nearly) !