Yuletide joy for the preparedSeeing as it’s Christmas Eve and we’ve all probably taken the day off work to get ready for tomorrow, we thought you’d like a festive list of tips to help the technophile have a happy and argument free Christmas day.
Don’t worry if you’ve not got everything on our list ticked off, there’s still plenty of time to get ready, and of course, you might have some tips of your own to add to the list, so feel free to bung them up in the forums.
1) Sort out the dross: Vista/Media Centre/HDD recorder users, go through your Recorded TV folder and get rid of anything that you’ll not watch again, making room for all those Christmas Specials you’ll not be allowed to watch.
2) Check your mini-screwdriver set is complete and to hand. Sure, you remembered to buy batteries but in this ultra-nanny state world we live in, nearly all battery covers are held on with the world’s tiniest screws and no, the end of a sharp knife is not a good substitute unless you want to spend the rest of the day in A+E along with two hundred other cutlery/battery related casualties.
3) Retune Vista/Media Centre/DBTV receivers for the latest channel lists and update the programme guides... There’s nothing worse than missing The Great Escape because you’re not tuned in properly.
4) Plan your digital day. Spend 30 minutes with a copy of the TV guide checking out what you want to watch and what others want to watch, then slot in your playing sessions around this. The Queen’s speech is an excellent chance to catch up on some Crysis but don’t load up Champ Manager, Football Manager, any decent RTS or an MMORPG, you’ll be expected to socially interact at some point in the day.
5) Hide a DS or PSP in the cupboard in the bathroom… with a set of headphones you’ve got maybe 20 minutes of secret playing time whilst ‘on the throne’.
6) Buy games for others that you want for yourself or can be played as multiplayer. Wii owners are well served here as you can get in on the action with the ‘gift’ you gave straight away. NOTE: This works best if the person you gave the game to lives with you.
7) Wake up early. This works best if you have kids in the house. Waking up at 5am as they excitedly bounce into your room is great as they’ll spend at least 2 hours going through their gifts from Santa and gorging themselves on chocolate, leaving you to ‘share the moment’ whilst pwning some brat in the US on Halo 3… just keep the smack talking to a minimum.
8) Cook the Christmas dinner. You’ll invariably find yourself left alone in the kitchen, giving you plenty of time to get in some DS or PSP action. A variation on this is if you visit the neighbours for a social Christmas drinkies: popping back to ‘check on the turkey’ is worth at least two furtive gaming sessions of 20 minutes or so.
9) Bide your time: Once the present unwrapping fest is over, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to indulge in your latest game or catch up with one you already own… just don’t hog the TV or you’ll cause a row. If your PC is in another room, fake installation problems to buy yourself some more playing time before being accused of being unsociable.
10) Keep the instructions… no, really, keep the instructions. We both know that we can figure how to pilot the International Space Station through trial and error if given enough time, but you can make the less technically minded feel more involved by giving them the instruction manual and then faking interest and compliance when they ask if you’ve plugged it in etc.