The Awkward Guide

In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself

The 4 Days of Awkward – A Christmas Special

Well folks, the big day is nearly upon us, which means it’s time for the Christmas jingles to start wearing a little thin, the prospect of snow to become a dim memory, and the tension in the root vegetable aisle of Tesco to build to such levels that one could cut it with a festively engraved cheese knife.

It’s also the time for Christmas specials. Ordinary biscuits have been given especially shiny red packaging, an especially long episode of Doctor Who will soon grace our television sets, Irn Bru has a special advert, the Queen is dusting off her most special pastel-coloured skirt, and TV chefs of all shapes and sizes are busy offering us their own unique (weird and a bit wrong) takes on a roast dinner whilst desperately pretending that it wasn’t all filmed sometime in mid-March.

And, never one to be left standing alone in a corner at parties or on the outside of an in-joke, the Awkward Guide has a Christmas special of its very own. Shamelessly butchering a well-known carol (and when I say well-known I mean that most of us only really know the partridge in a pear tree and the five gold rings and tend to just sort of mumble the rest), here is a conveniently numbered list of the four most awkward things about Christmas.

1. Office Christmas Parties

Now I have to admit that seeing as I am only a lowly student and have not yet made any sort of valuable contribution to society, I don’t actually qualify to attend any office Christmas parties. So I don’t have any direct experience and therefore I’m primarily basing this on TV and that scene in Love Actually. But if that’s anything to go by then the office Christmas party will involve attempting to small-talk with colleagues and their partners whilst pretending that you’re totally cool with the enormous naked portraits everywhere – they’re definitely not making you feel uncomfortable, not even when the boss starts dancing with the office whore right in front of his wife.

And let’s be honest, trying to interact with anyone outside of the very specific context in which you are slightly acquainted with them is never going to go smoothly, which is probably why people seem to resort to photocopying their bottoms, because that is actually less excruciating than trying to talk to Susan from Accounts over a tray of mini vol-au-vents.

2. Sprouts

Sprouts are a very divisive vegetable. Either you hate them, in which case you are correct. And also spend at least some of the time devoted to enjoying Christmas dinner wondering why on earth such an evil vegetable has been allowed onto the table, or worse, onto your plate. Or you like them, in which case you have to munch away on your hell-veg knowing that all the sensible people in the world are truly baffled as to how you can enjoy what is essentially a small and highly-concentrated cabbage.

3. Mistletoe

I don’t think I know anyone who actually has mistletoe in their house at Christmas. If I did, I may have to seriously reconsider the terms of our friendship. The tradition of forcing people to kiss underneath some shrubbery seems to have been invented by someone with an evil master plan to spread anxiety and dread around homes during the festive season. Especially when you consider that at this time of the year, the people in your house are mostly members of your own family.

4. Christmas Jumpers

Now to my mind Christmas jumpers are things of great beauty and wonder, and Colin Firth can only be improved by reindeer-adorned knitwear. But sadly society does not agree. An affinity for Christmas-patterned woollens is a guilty pleasure only to be indulged in private, resulting in a heavy conscience and a gloriously warm midrif.

And so we come to the end of the Awkward Guide Christmas Special, and all that remains to be said is

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation.


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