Hey, so soon interns could be PAID eh? But until then, all the unpaid interns are still expected to emulate the comfortably salaried during the Christmas months (could have just written “December” tbh) for fear of being branded a scrooge.

Think secret Santa gifts, sudden and inexplicable whip-rounds and the dreaded office party. “Hey, shall we all chip in twenty quid and buy Moet?” everyone says, voices rising to be heard over the sounds of your penniless whimpering. If you want this internship to turn into something bigger and more beautiful, you’d better get into the Christmas spirit. And fast.

Secret Santa

Don’t say: Sorry, I don’t do presents at Christmas because I’m a communist.

Do say: OH YEAH COOL I LOVE SECRET SANTA!!!!111 ONE ONE (verbalising the punctuation and the 1′s is unnecessary)

How to get around it: Four festive little words that mould together to make the ultimate yuletide phrase: Tat From Your Bedroom. Remember those bath salts Aunty Mental bought you three years ago that you’ll never use because nobody uses bath salts unless they’re eighty? Hello. Other great gift ideas include: jewellery you don’t want anymore (wash in soda water and put in a nice looking box designed for something else), an old scarf (launder first), a vase, that weird liquor above the fridge that nobody understands. Mainly because it has a picture of a prawn on the front and a large red X. Tell them XPrawn is one of Portugal’s alcoholic delicacies.

If you have to spend ££s: Go to Poundland. There are wonders to be held there that you’d never have guessed (also, a box of seemingly posh chocolates called something like El Chocolateux de Joie de Vivre de Francais Chocolat costs a quid and nobody will be able to tell)

Office Decorations

Don’t say: Oh, decorating my desk distracts me from my work (nobody will like you)

Do say: OH YEAH COOL I LOVE DECORATING MY DESK!!!!!111 ONE ONE (mouth the punctuation and 1s if you feel the need)

How to get around it: Steal decorations from HR/reception/the lift. If you’re concerned about CCTV cameras, locate an ivy bush near where you live (open your eyes, there’s shedloads of the stuff) casually ask around if anyone has any spare tinsel and entwine the two like lovers. Where one lover is sparkly and the other grew up on the front of someone’s house, just under their kitchen window. Or, forget the tinsel and cut some festive images out of magazines to make Ivy Christmas Bunting. Everyone loves bunting. You’ll probably get a job off the back of this idea and, if you do, please buy me a drink.

Christmas Whip Arounds. Wait. Is it “Whip ROUND” or “Whip AROUND”. According to google it’s both. I’m going for the former.

Don’t say: Sorry I have no money for this whip round.

Do say: OH YEAH COOL I LOVE WHIP ROUNDS EXCLAMATION MARK THE FIGURE ONE THE NUMBER ONE WRITTEN IN LONGFORM (sarcastically while hiding in the toilets)

How to get around it: Go to the toilet for twenty minutes the minute you see the potential for a whip around occurring. Don’t wait to verify the situation, just go. If anyone questions you, look withering and shake your head in the way that can only mean “I may or may not have eaten something terrible, please don’t make me go into the details”. They’ll be too empathetic/repulsed to ask you for money. If this doesn’t deter them, say you’ve only got your debit card and is there a cash machine nearby? Make sure you’re still doing the shaking head thing. You’ll be let off the hook.

Christmas Cards

Don’t say: I can’t afford Christmas cards (that is just too upsetting) Do say: OH YEAH I LOVE CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!! 111 ONE ONE (write the punctuation down on a post-it note while doodling potential Christmas card designs)

How to get around it: Make your own. So you don’t appear try-hard and creepy, casually tell everyone you always make a batch each year. The cards themselves can be made using A4 paper, a black (v important as blue looks cheap) pen and some other Christmas gift wrapping/Christmas images from a magazine. Cut the wrapping paper/image into the shape of a Christmas tree and stick it on the front. Artily write “HAPPY CHRISTMAS” above it. Remember Neil Buchanan from Art Attack? He’s in a heavy metal band called Marseille now. Don’t know why I thought of that.

The Office Party

I refer you to my previous post, How To Hide Your Poverty When Trying To Impress People More Important Than You because it’s basically solid gold. Sometimes I’m a genius and sometimes I’m just a girl looking at a fiver asking it to love her.

I will add, though:

Don’t say: I can only attend if there’ll be free drinks.

Do say: OH GREAT! (Going OTT will make you look like you have an undesirable work/social life balance and may hinder your chances of employment.)

1. Cheap decoration ideas a-gogo 

2. If you’ve got an under-a-fiver secret Santa budget (what are you, the Queen?!) and can’t be bothered trawling the shops this site sorts it for you

3. Don’t buy any of these 

4. For other, equally inventive Christmas card making methods, you can always rely on the Daily Mail