It may only be December 1, but as far as I'm concerned, it's Christmas once the Coca Cola ad comes on telly.
I've grown up to be especially Christmas-y this time of year, due to the fact that I have an exceptionally Grinchy family. And trust me, having a family that isn't festivity friendly can be extremely difficult.
Here are some of the obstacles you can expect to face...
1. Decorations go up on the 24th and come down on the 26th.
OF DECEMBER, I should add.
Straight in, no messin'. And there won't be a real tree in sight - 'sure the needles will make shite of the floor'.
2. Christmas clothes aren't a thing
People who get entirely new outfits to wear for five hours max before being swapped for Christmas pyjamas?
Christmas clothes were never a thing for me growing up. We were encouraged to recycle whatever rig-out we wore to the last family wedding/christening etc.
3. Christmas dinner is held anywhere but your own home
Nothing stresses Christmas-hating parents out more than in-laws, turkeys and dirty dishes. They would literally consider ordering Chinese over going through the whole ordeal themselves.
Thanks, but no thanks.
4. You don't get Santa presents AND presents from your parents
And you wouldn't even THINK about making a comment about it, because you'll have the head eaten off you.
"I don't care what Bridie-Ann got! Honestly, do you think we're MADE of money?"
5. You don't get a stocking
Stockings are also complete notions. A sock full of oranges? What are we, woodland creatures?
6. You don't get an advent calendar
Your friends get something called an 'advent calendar' every year. They can't wait to start opening the doors on December 1.
You have NO idea what they're talking about.
7. Gifts are usually extremely practical
Vouchers, socks and jocks can all be expected. 'Sentimentality' is a dirty word to your family.
8. You've never been to a Christmas Panto
To you, Buttons are sweets and Alan Hughes is the guy from TV3.
Nothing more, nothing less.
9. You have no idea what's on TV because your parents didn't get the Christmas RTÉ Guide
Consider your Christmas television itinerary well and truly scuppered.
10. Christmas shopping is left until Christmas Eve
My Dad broke a 42-year tradition last year by opting to buy his presents on the 21st instead of the 24th.
11. And finally, you know exactly what you're getting before you even open the gift
Remember what I said about 'practical'? Surprises are great and all, but spare us the hassle of returning things.
Nobody wants that. Especially not your dad. He's been through enough.