Aaaah, blessed Christmas, eh? Goodwill, festive cheer, the feeling of barely restrained rage welling up inside you as the last turkey is snatched out of the supermarket freezer right before your eyes…
Christmas is not just a time to put up with the snide asides of in-laws and the desecration of your azaleas by a chundering child… no, it’s a time to travel, to get out on the road with everybody else at the same time to spread the message of mass commercialism and the subtle game of one-upmanship between you and your nearest and dearest.
Err, I mean… to catch up with those you treasure the most and want to spend quality time with. Ahem.
Now, we’ve all read those preachy road safety messages before, right? ‘Don’t drive tired, check your oil’ and so on. Well, here’s a list for the modern family’s Christmas journey, and the best ways just to make. It. Through. To. New. Year’s. Day…
DON’T FORGET THAT KID
Christmas morning is a freaking madhouse. There’s thousands of dollars of used-once shiny paper crammed in every corner of the house, and your precious little petals have all vacated stage left to stare at length into whatever device they’ve managed to wheedle you into buying.
Time’s a ticking, though – woe betide you turn up at your in-laws’ place at 12.37, and not the 12.30 as arranged! So you hustle everyone to get a move on, endure the indignant shrieks of your tweeny girls who believe four hours just isn’t enough to apply makeup and do hair, and physically push the sullen boy out of the front door.
Here’s the moment where you should stop and do a quick head count. As tempting as it is to leave one, or all, the children behind, it's best to do a stocktake before setting off.
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE
Accept, right now, that EVERYONE else will be out doing this exact same task as you; ferrying out to various locales around the suburbs in the hope that, this year, the trifle might actually be edible.
Take a deep, calming, steadying breath, take firm control of the car stereo control and smile. After, all, you’re still not at work, right?
CHARGING CABLES ARE LIKE PLATNIUM
Forget gold – a relevant charging cable is like finding the Holy Grail swaddled in a signed premiership jersey (or guernsey) of (your favourite team) from (that truly incredible winning year). Wars will be fought over it, tears shed over its status and blood will spill should someone bend the end over enough to snap a couple of connect… oh.
If your car doesn’t have sufficient USB ports to support Lightning, USB-C, micro USB, USB macro macro D and, of course, that weird one from mum’s old Motorola phone, then grab a multi-head 12v charging socket, and all will be right with the world. For 30 seconds, anyway.
BOOK A SERVICE FOR YOUR CAR… A MONTH BEFORE XMAS NEXT TIME
Seriously… did you REALLY think the local garage would be able to fit you in any time in December? I mean, there’s the office party, the party with the golf crew, the Better Half’s office drinks, the street party, the Santa pub crawl… December is a busy month!
If you’re planning a big drive, and you haven’t sorted the car before 15 November, then grab your phone and set a calendar date. For November 2019.
You can do the basics, of course; check the oil level on the dipstick, give the car a wash, make sure your tyres aren’t flat on the bottom, clean the rubbish out of your door pockets, peer under the bonnet and pretend you know what you’re looking for… failing all that, ensure you have mobile data to find the number for your local auto club.
DO NOT DRIVE TIRED
If it is all a bit much, then have a rest before hitting the road again. No, seriously. Even if you’re more awake and alert than a kookaburra watching a schnitzel burger, feigning tiredness in the name of driving home is a sure-fire way to get you out of that cringingly awkward conversation with Uncle Aaron about the time he caught you swilling a beer at the back of nan’s when you were 14…
READ MORE Wet weather driving tips
DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK
What are you, a freakin’ idiot? How many of our taxpayer dollars have been burned up in the name of drink-driver education over the last 20 years? And people are still stupid enough to think that ‘just a couple’ is okay to drive with? Just don’t drink if you’re driving.
Get blind ripped (responsibly of course) on Boxing Day, or at one of the mechanic’s aforementioned parties if you’re near public transport. Or a somewhat sympathetic partner. If you drive under the influence on Christmas Day, there will be no more Christmases… especially if your stupidity results in harm to others.
On a slightly more serious note… on behalf of the team at WhichCar, we’d like to thank you for tuning in during 2019, and we really hope you can join us for what will be a stupendously big 2019. We’ve even got our own TV show coming out!
Merry Christmas, one and all!
Glenn, Dan, David, Noelle, Tim, Tony and all the WhichCar team!