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As you enter the living room and eye the table laden with what must be enough calories for the next year, your belt gives a tiny squeak of desperation. “Not this time” you tell yourself, wowing to leave the most important date in the family calendar with your dignity intact.

Hours later, you lie on the floor in the foetal position, hanging on for dear life. Every. Single. Year. It’s time to stop treating Christmas dinner like a summit of Everest, we’ll show you how with our handy guide.

Less is less

If you happen to bear the responsibility of feeding the entire extended family this year, try making less food. The advantages are manifold: less time spent in the kitchen overall and the ability to make meals that are a bit fancier where quality is concerned. Also consider food waste, you wouldn’t normally put half a turkey in the bin, so why is Christmas an excuse? Don’t run the risk of people leaving hungry though, cook as if it were any other gathering but with just enough extra to make it look and feel plentiful.

Respect the food, it’s a Christmas dinner after all

A family member (or yourself) braved the shopping lines, prepared all the icky parts and worked a great deal in general on this meal. And all they get in return is you and the rest of the family stuffing your faces to achieve the blissful proportions of a beach ball at record speeds. Slow down, ask the cook what ingredients they used and why. By appretiating the food, you’ll be less inclined to mow through all the courses without looking up once from your plate.

Leave some room

The easiest thing you can do to survive Christmas dinner is simply grabbing half of what your gut tells you to. With so many courses to work your way through, you’ll be unavoidably feeling full soon enough. If there is the usual parade of desserts coming down the line, skip the potatoes and concentrate on the veggies and meat to accommodate the incoming deluge of carbs.

Talk with your mouth (not so) full

We know most of us only bother to show up for Christmas dinners because of the food, but it’s also a time of reuniting the family and making fun of all those who couldn’t make it that year. In doing so, you take your eyes away from all the food your dumb body demands you eat to prepare for the times when you’ll need fat as a storage of energy.

As you are reading this, either preparing to meet your doom in the form of stuffing our you pulled through through sheer power of will, you might still not be too late to order some exceptionally well designed Christmas cards. Check out our offering over at our catalogue page.