What are your Christmas Day hacks for stress-free festivities?

We're a mostly cyncial bunch at Bitterwallet (you may have picked up on that) so Christmas is about as welcome as a punch in the crotch. If there's a way to best endure this commercial whore of an event, we're listening.

Aside from getting wrecked on port so you can ignore the in-laws, how do you survive the next seven days? As always, your hints and tips are very welcome. Meanwhile, a few of our suggestions to help you avoid spending time in a cell next week:

Ho bloody ho

If you haven't wrapped the presents already, then a couple of quick tips to ensure Christmas morning isn't a non-stop procession of whinging, crying, tears and tempers. And I'm talking about you, not the kids:

  • Packaging Cardboard braces, plastic-coated wire-ties, nuts and bolts, molded screws; opening some gifts can be less successful than steering a cow. Save yourself and your kids many minutes of anguish and frustration by removing the internal packaging from presents before you wrap them.
  • Batteries Sweet holy mother of Moses, do we really need to tell you to buy the batteries before the day? Do we? Haven't you learned yet? Go through all the presents, make a list of which batteries you need, and go buy them. If you can be bothered, install them in the toys before wrapping them; partly because it'll take time breaking into the battery compartments, and partly for...
  • Testing Test everything at least a couple of days beforehand. There's nothing that'll break a child's heart like the toy that doesn't work. Try it out, plug it in, configure it, play with the bloody thing - make sure it works.

Vegetative state

Today you may be asking yourself the big question - when do you go shopping for the Christmas dinner?  The answer, as far as Bitterwallet is concerned, is early tomorrow morning. Why? Because with plenty of supermarkets open 24 hours, if you're up early you can be in and out before the crowds descend, something you won't be able to do on Sunday or Monday (there's no 24 hour shopping, dammit), and by Tuesday it'll be a scrum. And according to VegetableExpert.co.uk, all the traditional vegetables - carrots, parsnips, sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip - will still be fresh on Christmas Day.


  • Martin
    It is an utter disgrace that you suggest getting wrecked on port for seven days. In seven days drinking, you can come up with a much better variety in hangovers than just a port induced one. And, here is the best part, if you want to make it a family event, just buy a couple of large size packets of wine gums along with bottles of a bottle of port, sherry, champagne, claret, gin, rioja, chablis and burgundy (per day). Child takes a sweetie, Daddy takes the corresponding drink. Repeat until someone is sick. Then start again.
  • leleb
    I now have kids of my own so Christmas Day involves me being jumped on at 4am and attempting to cook a feast big enough to feed Milton Keynes. Back in the days when I had a social life over Christmas, and it didn't just consist of visits to various Santas grottos and massive Amazon orders, as Martin says, I could easily cram in an entire rainbow of hangovers. Worse one involved an "optic pint" on Christmas Eve, ie- a pint glass with a shot from each of the optics in the pub. Grim.
  • Ducky
    Give EVERYONE at least one present wrapped in bubblewrap. No stress. Also, you might want to sort out the hot-linked image. :-)

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