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26 things every twenty-something experiences at Christmas

Happy Christmas you total babes – hope you are all super happy and still have some advent calendar chocolates left. Three days to go and hands up who’s unprepared? I have bought one present so far. Yesterday I came dangerously close to asking one of those copper giraffes in Oliver Bonas to just hold me until it’s all over.

I have realised (horrifyingly) that this is the last Christmas of my mid-twenties and to celebrate my middle age I’ve made a little list of everything I’ve discovered about everyone’s favourite day, at a time in your life when you’re a non-child but also a non-adult and sit somewhere in between circling everything you want in the Argos catalogue and asking for a slow cooker.

This one’s for everyone who loves Christmas with all their heart but journeys rapidly from hyperventilating over red cups to being a little bit sick in their mouth at the thought of it all (and not just because you ate four types of bird).

26 things every twenty-something discovers at Christmas.

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1 Seasonal anxiety is now a thing. When everyone else is practically weeing themselves over tinsel and mulled wine there are times you feel like you could be sick into a stocking from all the pressure. Solution: duvet, hot chocolate and Home Alone. That way you’re on topic without having a breakdown.

2 You promise yourself to start as you mean to go on and attempt your New Year’s resolution early (mine’s learning the Mean Girls dance in time for next Christmas). Thirty seconds after arriving home and inhaling an entire ham, you’re horizontal with a box of matchmakers, crying over E.T and thinking about what your ideal novelty shower head would be (mine is Dobby.)

3 Whether it’s treating yourself to an eggnog latte only to burn your tongue so badly you lose the ability to operate your own mouth, or accidentally choking yourself with your scarf when it gets stuck on the escalator, December is full of hazards just waiting to trip you up. So it’s safer to always be drunk.

4 Turns out no matter how good you’ve been this year, Santa can’t cure your addiction to lip balm or introduce you to Amy Poehler.

5 Calories exist. They creep in at the back of your mind, like a January essay deadline or the threat of chlamydia, but now you’re a twenty-something denial is BAE. So you eat as much as you can as quickly as possible and then have a bath.

6 There is a small but pretty intense part of you that hates children for a) truly believing and b) getting iPads when you were lucky if you got one of those felt worms on an invisible string.

7 It’s okay to wake up feeling a bit depressed on Christmas morning because you’re 26, not Lena Dunham, still in your overdraft, and permanently cold.

8 Lush is THE most frightening store in the world. Everyone is too happy and glitter gets in your lungs. If you dare to enter, wear a mask, don’t make eye contact, grab a bath bomb and leg it.

9 You might cry into the fridge freezer because your relatives are weird and you’ve lost sight of who you are but that’s fine because that’s where the Prosecco is.

10 Advocat has the ability to solve most of life’s problems except climate change and bloating. You’ve been telling everyone since childhood that snowballs are the best and are slightly pissed off that it’s suddenly made a fashionable comeback on Instagram complete with its own knitted jumper.

11 You’d never admit it but all the lights and the cinnamon and the annual social life make you lose your appetite a little bit. Can’t we just lie down and go back to doing what we do best – wishing we were Taylor Swift?

12 You know what the opposite of festive is? Blemish-preventative skincare in your stocking. If Santa can help me get past puberty by next Christmas that would be ABOUT BLOODY TIME.

13 Winter plays with your emotions. All random objects look snuggly, sexy and sad at the same time and it takes all your willpower to not pug-nap pugs in jumpers or spoon red phone boxes because they look so seasonal and needy.

14 Turns out there is nothing that can come between you and an entire bowl of Marks and Spencer honey-coated cashews. Who knew?

15 Discovering you can’t play a Kazoo and join the cracker Kazoo orchestra will break your spirit. Prepare yourself.

16 Because you’re old you now need to do a vocal warm up before smashing carol descants. If you’re me, this means rolling down the windows of your Fiat Punto en route and sirening Mariah Carey to three cows and a stag.

17 It becomes harder and harder to pick a favourite Quality Street because your adult life is now so full of regret and bad decisions you know it won’t just end there.

18 December is exhausting. More tiring than cross country in year 3. More tiring than flying long-haul next to someone with suspected ebola. More tiring than a furby that needs its batteries replacing, bleating away in an airing cupboard from 1998. So sleep has finally overtaken alcohol in your list of priorities. And maybe some intravenous mince pies.

19 Home is everything. There is nothing more comforting than that vast expanse of countryside under the moon, with the lights of Bournemouth glinting in the distance, sending across the starlit sky the comforting knowledge that someone is getting their genitals touched in a seaside club before midnight mass.

20 People giving you joint presents with your boyfriend now happens. Solution: he never has to know.

21 Boxing Day marathon runs are now a thing, widely bragged about on social media, and more hate-inducing than Trump’s Twitter account.

22 Christmas songs are now extremely emotional. If there’s one thing us twenty-somethings love to dwell on it’s all the nostalgia from better times so excuse us while we comfort eat Terry’s chocolate oranges to Shakin’ Stevens.

23 Work is fun. Work is FUN. Whether it’s Friday Christmas playlists, a constant influx of mince pies, or, if you’re me, organising the staff panto, work is 100% on your side. People you don’t know send you seasons greetings (hold me?), cheese arrives in the post, and when we’re not hungover we are smiling and laughing and wondering if we can get away with making snowflake chains in meetings. More of that please.

24 Secret Santa is always harder than you think it will be. Especially if – like me – you can’t make anything homemade because you still feel uncomfortable around adult scissors.

25 Board games are everything you need in life. Scrabble makes you clever, Cluedo gives you a reckless air and Monopoly doesn’t care if you’re still in your overdraft and just lets you buy a house.

26 Let’s face it, you’re still secretly hoping for a yoyo, diablo, Baby Born, tamagotchi AND Pokemon Red on Gameboy. But obviously you’ll make do with a non-stick frying pan and a candle (thanks mum).

Merry Christmas and an extremely happy new year. X

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