Christmas is a time for families, yes, but that's only because it's impossible to avoid them any longer.

Most Surviving Christmas guides will tell you to drink in moderation. Don't. Do not under any circumstances take this advice. Yes, drinking can make you moody and aggressive but not as much as your family. That's why being sober around them is so hard and, as we all know, two wrongs do make a right.

Every family is different but most have at least one parent who drives you to the point of sterilising yourself to ensure their genes die with you. Then there's the kids. Christmas is for kids, isn't it? Their sweet little happy faces, their adorable excitement. Adorable for a maximum of 22 minutes. After that watershed, it's time for them to take their new noisy toys into their soundproofed bedroom. Buy them that jigsaw puzzle of the Large Hadron Collider and they should be quietly busy until it's time for that goodbye cuddle. Aw.

It's not all negative. There's the food, maybe some cash and a 1 in 10 chance of a present you actually like. Whatever clothes you get, wear them immediately so you can get gravy all down them at the earliest opportunity before shrinking the lot in the wash on Boxing Day. Shame.

The Questions
Probably the worst aspect of the family Christmas is The Questions. "Still single?" "You call that a job?" "What is a part-time blogger anyway?" "Can you make a living as the captain of an online pirate ship?" They're often followed by comparisons to neighbours' kids who have gone on to great success in the City or a medical profession. "They don't drink so much, either." Tell them you know all about their habits as you are in charge of a huge investigation into the real source of their wealth.

The saviour. The eater of time. The halter of difficult conversations. Turn on, tune out and pray they have Comedy Central.

Next Article: Our Fantasy Christmas Dinner Party

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