Unwanted Boxing Day visitors? Heres how to get rid of them | Andy Dawson

Charging guests entry, feigning illness and getting hardcore biblical are some of the foolproof ways you can find some festive peace, says freelance writer Andy Dawson

Ahhhhhh, Christmas. A time for families to come together and generate treasured moments of … whatever it is that most people mistakenly believe the Yuletide season is about. The truth is that you’ve got a week off work and all you want to do is watch Netflix in your gasps while drinking Baileys at 9.40 am.

This cast-iron plan will invariably be shattered by friends and family members turning up unannounced and trying to impose their jollity on you, so here are 10 ways to overcome them with consummate ease.

Keep the rations to a minimum

‘ Invest in a second fridge to be hidden somewhere other than the kitchen where you can keep your mini scotch eggs and selection of sliced Euromeats.’ Photograph: Alamy

For weeks the shops have been full of weird and wonderful snack foods, all cunningly designed to foster a party ambiance. Pork lollipops, breadcrumbed prawn bow-tie things with unlikely dipping sauces … you can even have pigs in blankets that are housed INSIDE miniature Yorkshire puddings, such is the air of decadence that blossoms around the festive season.

Sod that – you must shun this frippery if you want to keep people out of your home. Somewhat stale bread, a hunk of manky cheddar and no booze whatsoever is the order of the day. But don’t spoil things for yourself- invest in a second fridge to be hide somewhere other than the kitchen where you can keep your mini scotch eggs and selection of sliced Euromeats.

Feign illness

Any knock at the door could herald unwanted guests. Have some vinegar to hand and start scratching it into your eyeballs. It’ll be agony and you’ll barely be able to see, but if you combine it with some theatrical sniffing you’ll be able to get rid of your visitors before they get across the threshold.

Get religion

Let us not forget that Christmas is ostensibly a religious celebration, with gluttony only briefly mentioned in the small print. Go hardcore on the biblical stuff, with hymn sheets and even an altar in the middle of the living room. Less nativity, more deep south anti-Satan sermon, foaming at the mouth if possible.

Impromptu party games

Everyone loves party games, right? Not the ones you need to be playing if you want rid of your yuletide interlopers. Pass The Poo Bag, Pin The Rancid Lamb Chop On The Nappy and Strip Charades all need to be in your arsenal. Insist firmly on playing them, as resistance may occur.

Make like you’re going out

‘ Every time the doorbell rings, on goes the coat as you activate your exit strategy.’ Photograph: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

” Oh no- I was just heading out to visit[ insert name of someone they detest or don’t know, ideally someone who lives very far away ].” You’ll need to prepare for this one- keep your shoes on around the clock and have a coat within arm’s reach at all periods. Every time the doorbell rings, on runs the coat as you activate your exit strategy. They won’t know what’s hit them.

Charge them for utilities

As soon as they’re through the door, made them with a “menu” for services you’ll be providing during their unsolicited visit: food, beverages, lighting, heating, wifi, reasonable wear and tear of fixtures and fittings … Add an” administration charge” as well- none of us truly knows what these are but we unfailingly cough up like the mugs we truly are.

Plan some decorating

‘ Leave an open pot of emulsion in the middle of the floor.’ Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

You don’t need to actually do the decorating now, but if you rip up your carpets, pull off the wallpaper and leave an open pot of emulsion in the middle of the floor, chances are that your guests will take the hint and go off and be festive somewhere else.

Pretend it’s bedtime

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