Don’t. Just stay home and drink hot chocolate happily knowing you ordered everything online a month ago. Otherwise you’ll end up with less than a week until Christmas and less than half your list checked off, like me. And you’ll be cursing your own stupidity as you navigate a crowded mall and wait in crazy mile-long lines because this could all have been avoided.
What do you even get people, anyway? All these stores claim things are on sale for Christmas, but you know very well that all the prices will be cheapest on Boxing Day. Are you really going to spend thirty bucks on some plastic with paint just because you know a kid who likes the app? How can you possibly justify spending this much when there are people starving just outside the doors of the store you’re in? Maybe it’s just better to pretend you don’t see these price tags…at least until the credit card bill comes in next month. So you just buy everything and tell yourself you’ll return some of it later, although you know the gift receipts are just a formality. Finally you return home exhausted, but at least you got everyone a gift.
Then you’ll just want to go to sleep instead of wrapping the darn things—the wrapping will just be torn off anyway. You’ll watch a bunch of YouTube videos on how to wrap the perfect present before deciding to just stuff everything into a gift bag and add some tissue paper to make it socially acceptable.
You need to bake something for the pot-luck? HA! To the grocery store for some cake and eggnog it is! Transfer the treat to one of your own platters and slap on an adhesive bow to look fancy and that’s done.
Wait—do you need to bring a hostess gift to this kind of thing? Time to dig up that ugly centrepiece you got from your Secret Santa last year and regift that shit! Throw in one of the many lotions you got from your last birthday as a bonus. Maybe check your reflection self-consciously while wondering why everyone decided to gift you lotion…
Finally, you’re done. You can sit down and relax…but wait! What will you wear? You want to wear something pretty, but it’s so cold out that you’re forced to add leggings to your cocktail dress. Somehow, it doesn’t have the same effect as it did when you tried it on in the change room two months back. You just have to wear those sparkly pumps with this dress—when else are you going to wear that many sparkles?—but there’s also a foot of snow out so you’ll have to wear those ugly boots until you reach the venue.
Makeup and hair are the least of your worries by this point. You’ll reapply your lipstick for a third time once there anyway—just as an excuse not to engage in smalltalk with people. At the back of your mind for the whole party is the fact that you know you’ll have to do it all again before the family dinner on the actual Christmas Day. You pause to contemplate how much you’d miss if you just didn’t show up—not much between the drunk uncles and prying aunts—but then sigh and return home only to bend to social norms and repeat the entire process again. Merry Christmas!
My first-ever Instagram photo taken Christmas morning last year.