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Last Updated: Thursday November 25 2004 17:45 GMT

Christmas survival guide

Sprouts

We all love Christmas, don't we? Presents, loads of food and great TV make for a top time.

It's everyone's fave time of year, and nothing could be better, right?

Wrong! The festive season is packed with danger - unwanted presents, sprouts, boring films on telly, sprouts, aunties that demand a kiss, writing thank-you letters and sprouts.

So to help you, we've come up with a few hints on coping with the less fun parts of Christmas:

  • Get some make-up. It's very valuable, and not just for older sisters.

Make yourself look pale and ill, so you can go to your room and avoid chatting to boring guests.

Another crafty tip is to paint eyes on your eye-lids, allowing you to grab a sneaky kip while you're being forced to watch The Sound of Music for the fifth time.

  • Sticky tape. Use it to tape your mouth into a permanent smile for when you get another pair of socks and don't want to look too upset.
  • Also, reinforce one end of your cracker with it to stop it breaking and make sure you win.

  • Onions. Eat lots to stop aunties and grannies from even wanting to kiss you.
  • Using them to turn on the tears will make sure you get your choice of telly too.

  • Make lists. Not just for presents - think up things to say so you're not lost for words at sub-standard pressies.
  • Writing down who's sent you what will help you remember what you have to thank them for.

  • Cheat. Not at board games, unless you want to get caught and forced to stop playing, but at letter writing.
  • Make a standard thank you letter on the computer and fill in the blanks for each person. Easy life!

  • Sprouts. There are a few ways to avoid these. Slipping them to a hungry pet is the best.
  • You could also create a diversion ("Look, it's a weasel in a hot air balloon!"), then hide them in a near-by plant pot.

    Chopping them up really small and hiding them under a turkey bone is worth a try if there's no other option.

  • Most importantly, enjoy yourself!
  • With these simple tips, you should have all the best of Christmas without any of the hassle!