GUEST COLUMN: Top tips for a happy Christmas, by Josie Brewer, guest columnist

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Christmas. The only time when it’s acceptable to wear a paper crown on your head whilst sat on a deckchair (otherwise more suitably named ‘emergency seating’) surrounded by other family members who also have paper crowns on their heads.

It’s as bizarre as it is fabulous, as far as a season goes, and never passes without one or two little 
hiccups.

Here, for you, I have drafted a ‘handy hints and tips’ checklist to hopefully help Christmas run that little bit smoother.

1. Alcohol does not make you invincible and/or exempt from injury: This is first because it’s the most important.

Before you make any rash decisions after you’ve had a few, weigh-up the situation. Ask yourself- where, how, and why.

If you can’t answer, you probably shouldn’t do whatever it was you were going to do. But, of course, no one is stopping you…

2. Practise reactions for Oscar worthy performances. You’re probably going to get socks instead of that new perfume you’ve been hinting for the last four months. Prepare yourself by practising in mirror following reactions: Surprise, delight and appreciation.

3. Re-cap general knowledge. Family game of Trivial Pursuit - inevitable.

Being a member of the losing team- unacceptable.

Be sure that general knowledge is up-to-scratch for when event occurs. Don’t listen to that one family member who claims it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. This is a trap.

4. Specify dietary requirements to the chef before Christmas Eve.

Would you like more mashed or roast potatoes? Would you prefer a chocolate orange or a Milk Tray?

These are important questions to consider this run-up to Christmas because it’s the only time of year we can be justifiably gluttonous.

Don’t waste the opportunity.

5. Have a fabulous time. Let your hair down, be prepared for a little drama, eat loads of choccy, spoil your loved ones, turn up the fire and drink loads of whiskey - but not too much. (See tip number one)

6. Monopoly is NEVER a good idea: No, seriously. Don’t do it.