Why 12? Because Christmas is practically based around the number 12!
1) Invites to your gaff
When you get to your mid-20s, it’s absolutely acceptable to socialise more in your home, socialising which doesn’t even (necessarily) involve a bag of cans.
Mulled wine is genuinely very easy to make yourself and it’s ok to ask your guests to chip in for dinner/nachos/whiskey etc. because you’re poor.
This is a difficult one. They key is whittling down to the people you really love. This may sound harsh but really, what has your granny done for you lately?
If you lack my cold, black heart of glass though, more carebear-friendly options include Secret Santa, charity shops and the 3 for 2 offer in Boots.
For something that’s called the social welfare, it doesn’t really lend itself well to sharing pints and banter with your nearest and dearest. It doesn’t take into account that the love of your life may be back from Australia for 4 days only and, well, it wouldn’t do to “bump into” them in a sober setting, now would it?
On the other hand, it’s a great excuse to not hang out with arseholes. When all else fails, deep pockets and handbags make excellent hiding places for naggins.
4) Family Queries
Prepare yourself for friendly familial curiosity about the nature of your full-time, yet curiously unpaid job. Bonus points if you have an aunt or uncle profoundly untouched by the recession and reacts in extreme amusement/indignation about the rate of governmental “wages” you receive.
5) Go easy on yourself
With any luck, you will be in an internship with actual Christmas holidays. You may not be earning proper wage but you can at least earn a proper holiday. (I took this advice to heart and didn’t really make up a number 5, ha!)
6) Vapid consumerism
The sales mean one thing; a chance to spend my Christmas card money on vaguely respectable looking items I wouldn’t be able to afford at any other time of the year. I’ve been sharpening my elbows for the last 4 weeks in preparation for elbowing other bargain hunters out of the way.
7) Festive Films
Torrent dat shit and delight in the Yuletide scenes while pretending your decorations amount to more than some wilting tinsel from the 2 euro shop.
8) Wrapping paper
A cheap alternative to wrapping paper is to glue all your social welfare receipts together. If you don’t have enough of them, copies of your pitiful bank statement will also work in an emergency.
Added bonus: may make relatives feel extra sorry for you and put an extra fiver in your Christmas card.
9) Adopt a dozen cats
At first glance, this may seem like an added expense. However, if you allow them to sleep on top of you, you’ll never need the heating on.
Also, dressing them up in tiny outfits and watching their unamused faces is a cheap and easy form of entertainment.
10) It’s fucking freezing
Yeah I know. Once you get into the swing of cooking something though (see number 1), your kitchen will warm up and I promise you there’ll be no need for that heating to be turned on.
Also, have you considered adopting a dozen cats?
Last resort for those of you without an ounce of self-control. If you really can’t be trusted to run up a credit card bill the size of the census (it’s not your fault really, a hangover from the Celtic Tiger), hide in your room, unplug the internet, turn off your phone and sleep until January. On the plus side, you’ll save on those pesky utility bills that mount up this time of year.
Raise a glass and a Christmas cheer
To having a paying job next year!
I briefly flirted with the idea of doing this whole post in rhyme but ultimately decided against it. Perhaps this was a mistake.
Y’know what? Fuck it. Christmas is the best time to be skint because of friends and family and all that heart-warming shit. I’ll certainly be having a happy Christmas and hope you will too!