Tips for Surviving the Patriarchy this Christmas

Tips for Surviving the Patriarchy this Christmas

by Althaea Sandover

If you celebrate Christmas, or know that you’re going to be spending time with people who do, the festive season can seem like a daunting prospect. After weeks of awkward office parties, winter colds and the incessant buffeting of capitalism, you’re expected to leave the house in sub-arctic conditions to deal with family commitments. Whether you love the festive period or not, here are a few tips for staying sane this time of year

1. Ditch all food-related guilt.

Trying to avoid tasty treats through the festive season would be like trying to avoid seeing “not all men…” in the comments section of a #metoo post. It’s only going to be stressful, and not worth the pain. So what, you’ve eaten a mince pie for post-dessert-dessert three times a day for a month? If Father Christmas can do it, so can you.

2. Check the guest-list for any family events you’ve been invited to.

Does it include any relatives with pets? If so, will said pets be attending said event? If no huggable non-humans will be present, cut your losses and invent a mysterious illness. You may not survive without someone small and furry (who doesn’t speak) to spend some time with.

3. Don’t feel guilty if you need to switch your feminist off to enjoy a Christmas film.

Sure, maybe one day we’ll live in a world where the plucky female character doesn’t give up her dreams to marry a prince at Christmas (yes, Netflix, I’m looking at you) but until then we’ve got to put up with what we have, right? Alternatively, if your feminism doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch, we wouldn’t blame you if you needed to follow any and all Christmas films with a rant to your parents/gran/cousins/dog about why Hollywood fails women on every front.   

4. Prepare answers for those awkward questions.

You know the ones about your love life/future wedding/plans to reproduce? If it helps, make flash cards, or knit them into a jumper. Good answers include:

  • What are children?
  • Sorry never heard of it/them/you.
  • Where’s the mulled wine?
  • Do I know you?
  • Sorry, I didn’t hear you. I was thinking about the gender pay-gap.

5. Mull your alcohol.

Honestly, grab your wine, or cider – whatever it is you fancy – and pop it on the stove with a bunch of spices and some orange. Ply all your loved ones with as much of the stuff as you can ladle. The warm, fragrant sleeping potion will soon have them all nodding off to Love Actually, leaving you free to sneak off and scroll through Idris Elba’s Instagram to your heart’s content. 

Merry Christmas!

Title image sourced via Pinterest

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