Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jingle Bells, awkward smiles, fake laughing all the way... (Sing it aloud for optimum giggles)

CHRISTMAS. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see that word? As the festive syllables bounce off the page and trickle into your mind, what visual imagery is conjured? 
Presents? A tree? A luxurious roasted feast with all things scrumptious?

Well OK, these may be quite relevant- but I know something better. Something that arrives every year without fail. Something that rumbles at the heart of mankind, stirring emotions of hilarity, embarrassment, tension and sadness all wrapped in one. Oh yes, I'm talking about the facial facade of the unwanted present opening.

I'm talking about those indescribable looks on peoples faces as they unwrap an unwanted  present. It really is hard to put into words and this blog can't do it justice. The eyes, the nose the flinching and the voice pitch that arises after opening an undesired gift. It's priceless.
Watching people attempt a joyous expression, force a warm smile and fumble out some drivel about it being what they've really wanted all along. The best is the fake jaw drop, a feeble (but hilarious) attempt at the 'shocked with amazement'  look.

Nothing beats watching the inexperienced. Their pathetic attempts (with obvious disappointment glazed all over their faces) always ends in blushing and incomprehensible sentences about gratitude. Everyone knows they don't like what they've opened. It's hilarious, to watch.

Then there are some who are experts at it. They've had enough experience to have learnt how to handle the situation with care. I am one of these people.So, to spare feelings and diffuse an awkward situation follow my festive facade steps this Christmas...

 Upon opening:

1. Widen your eyes immediately.( This gives a shocked affect, and the strain of widening makes your eyes water, thus they glaze over into a seemingly awestruck and joyous look)

2. Quickly pick out an aspect of the present and say why you like it.  (If you panic and time is racing-go for colour. It's the easiest)

3. Rotate the present and look at it from all angles, while softly commenting on how it will really go with something you already own. ( The rotation distracts them, thus they are not fully focused on the words leaving your mouth.Your soft talking in the background offers reassurance and lulls them into believing your gratitude.)

4. Make sure your talking tone is light and upbeat and talking/comment MUST commence as soon as the  present is opened.   (Any delay hints at disappointment/ bewilderment. And we really don't want that. Or you'll be sussed.)

5. Lastly, the key step. If all else fails or you've messed up the previous steps- go for THE HUG. (This switches the verbal struggle to a physical act of warmth and compassion. They may even take the hug as you not being able to 'put your gratitude into words')

SO, there's my Christmas gift to all you inexperienced out there. Give the steps a pop this year and see how you fare. Just remember...

''Jingle Bells, awkward smiles,
 Fake laughing all the way...
 Oh what fun, it is to watch,
 What present-openers blush and say. Hey!"


  1. Roma: This is funny and something to which we can all relate. I've looked back at some of your other posts, too, and find them quite appealing. They offer a fresh, humorous, and unique perspective from a young Blogger who's destined for a fruitful writing career. Follow your heart. ;)

  2. What a funny post! I'm so glad you stumbled on my blog so I could find yours too :) you write so well--and I can't see what else you have for us in the future. I especially love your phrasing and how you {very appropriately} utilize your italics and bolding ;) kudos! much love, your newest follower {av}

  3. Hee hee, this is really funny.

    My son just turned 6, and he's trying so hard to master the idea of acting happy when he gets something he really doesn't like. This year, he was doing really well and I was so proud...until he turned to me and whispered in my ear, "But mom...did you get me anything cool?" :)