The 12 personality types of Xmas — which is you?
THERE'S nothing quite like the Christmas spirit to bring out the best and worst of humanity.
It's a time for spreading peace, love and joy, but also a time for letting your flaws shine through.
Through years of careful research and observation I've found our flawed festive selves can be broken up into a dozen categories.
So here are my 12 types of Christmas (illustrations by Brett Lethbridge):
1. The socially conscious
Look, I love a good cause as much as the next person with a social conscience, but I draw the line at forcing my views on others through making donations in their name.
There's something pretty arrogant about deciding to make a donation in someone else's name - as if they needed your holier than thou hand to do the right thing.
"Thanks heaps for the fancy bottle of champagne you got me that I'll gladly drink, I hope you like donation I made in your name to support albino alpacas in Nepal."
Forget traditions, when you visit a modern family they'll have a couple of barren twigs masquerading as their Chrissy tree and the closest thing you'll get to a rumball is a Donna Hay pistachio and white chocolate ball dusted in freeze dried rose petals.
Traditions are traditions for a reason. That reason is they're excellent.
If they were rubbish we wouldn't have kept doing them for centuries.
Nobody wants your rosella jelly and burnt custard trifle with vermouth syrup.
For the love of all things holy, stick to the Woolies sponge and Aeroplane Jelly.
Think foot scrubs and personal fans - any useless crap the regifter has been given throughout the year is coming your way.
This type was once widely panned as the most contemptible, but fortunately for them recycling and not being a mindless consumer is very much in vogue.
So if you can't beat them, join them and start wrapping up your junk draw.
4. Highly strung
For some people it doesn't really feel like Christmas until Christmas movies start playing on TV or until they've heard Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas at least 5876 times.
For me, it doesn't really feel like Christmas until Mum is crying.
Mum is a total legend when it comes to our celebrations; she works for months to make sure everything is special for everyone.
But the pressure these perfectionists put on themselves to give everyone the most wonderful day is only headed in one direction: a beautiful day with a river of tears.
5. Thoughtless gift givers
Buying presents sucks, but it's something most of us have to give at least a solid ten minutes thought to and fair few hours shopping to collect, year in, year out.
That is unless you're a thoughtless gift giver then you're entire shopping can be sorted in ten minutes buying everyone scratchies or gift cards.
The upside of a thoughtless gift giver is that their presents are usually always the least disappointing and most useful.
6. Watched too many American movies
If your lounge room is more elaborate than Myer's front window and your Christmas decorations cost more than a Kia Rio, you need to take stock.
Who really wants a glass of eggnog in 45C heat?
Your commitment to the festive period makes the rest of us feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Plus, think of all of the albino alpacas you could help with the money you spent on the model train set that circles your roof-height Christmas tree.
Plenty of families have that one family member who thinks Christmas is the perfect time to bring up traumatic memories from a decade ago, or better still create new traumatic memories.
If you notice the troublemaker has gone a little quiet you need to go on high alert.
Once they get a glint in their eye and say "remember that time" that's your signal to run.
The drunkard is often the troublemaker, but there are rare cases where you may have two of these types in one family.
If that's the case for you, then my heart goes out to you, a drunkard and a troublemaker in one room is a Christmas tragedy waiting to happen.
The drunkard can easily be identified as the person who has gravy dripping down their chin, complete with a bon bon hat falling off their sweaty brow despite the fact it is 10am lunch and gravy hasn't even been served yet.
9. Handmade gifter
Nothing beats a gift straight form the heart, but guess what?
A macramé wall hanging does not a heartfelt gift make.
Chances are if your artistic inspiration was born out of a desire to save money at Christmas you're probably wasting everyone's time.
10. I got me this gift, I mean you
You'll often see this type of behaviour among couples.
Tickets to a concert, holidays and even household items are all popular choices.
It's a commonly accepted practice, but still super shady.
An ex-boyfriend of mine gave me a Soda Stream for Christmas once, and while my gift-giving track record is certainly not perfect, it's hard to think of a time I was given a more unsuitable present, albino alpacas included.
You'll be surprised to learn he got custody of the Soda Stream in the breakup.
This is me.
I manage to arrive at every family Christmas having not lifted a finger to pull the day together only to swan around enjoying the fruits of everyone else's labour.
In years gone by I was the chief dish washer but after breaking 11 plates in one go I've even been relieved of those duties.
While it's easy to get frustrated with the non-contributors just remember that a team full of captains is a disaster waiting to happen.
12. Born-again Christmas
You know the type, not an ounce of piousness all year but as soon as Christmas rolls around Jesus is on speed dial.
I don't know if God gets as annoyed by this as I do but I feel like he deserves the kind of devout followers who are going to show up day in day out - not just when there's a party to be had.
Don't be a fairweather friend.