How to Survive Your Family During the Holidays
It’s here. The holiday season.
Personally, I hate the Christmas season. Aside from SantaCon, I could do without the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. I’m a Grinch and my heart isn’t going to grow 10 times too big and Cindy Lou Who can go suck a big one.
Pure ire fills me on November 1st each year when I walk into a Peet’s or Starbucks and hear the whiny spewing of an Amy Grant holiday track from 1994. Can’t you commercial bastards wait until at least Thanksgiving is over? Shit, guys. Rein it in a bit. Yeah, right. It will never happen. In a few years we will just skip Halloween altogether and go full throttle Christmas once school starts after Labor Day. Ugh.
Soon you’ll be headed home to your family. To parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and their wives, husbands, gay partners or orphan friends. To sit around a couch, table, tree, Hanukkah bush and be not so silently judged by all your relatives.
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“You aren’t married yet? Are you at least seeing someone?!?! You’re getting old. No one will want you once your boobs get saggy.” Ugh…thanks, Aunt Claudia.
What was I looking for? Oh, yeah…alcohol. Makes everyone happy in one easy step! Pour booze in glass. Drink.
In all honesty, if you are inclined to fall into a depression, during the holidays or in general, then step away from the booze. It will just make you feel worse and you’ll really end up feeling isolated and dark and that is no bueno.There can be sanity to be found during the holidays if you don’t let the lame people bother you. What is the point of stressing out? So your uncle is a jerk and your aunt is a Boehner-lovin’ Republican. Are you going to change them? No. Will laying out proven facts that global warming IS an actual thing that exists make them trade in their SUV and buy a Prius? No.Take a big breath and try these little tips that keep me sane from November through December.
1) PERFECTION IS UNATTAINABLE – Do you want everything to be exactly how you envision it? Too bad! Aim for 90% or realistically 75%. Don’t fall apart if your table doesn’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Your tree isn’t big enough and tilts to the right? So did your last boyfriend’s penis and you still enjoyed it, right?
Serious Voice: You will miss out on fun with your family if you are stuck on the details. Delegate where you can and allow for mistakes. Imperfect moments provide funny memories to re-live next year!
2) FAMILY IS THE FOREVER – My family is amazing. I’m super lucky in that area. There is some family that I could do without, but they’re not going to disappear. Family never disappears! Like ants in your kitchen, they just keep finding their way in. Just man up and have compassion, albeit temporarily, for those unenlightened branches of your family tree. Or hang out with your ONE (or 12 in my case) cool cousin as much as you can
Serious Voice: Give your family a chance and the benefit of the doubt. They may not realize their negative effect on you. Smile and remember they love you despite how poorly they may show it.
3) EVADE & ESCAPE – Feeling smothered? Shake it Off! The best part of going back home is returning to the hangout spots in your hometown. Go to your local bar or coffee shop. Run into people you used to go to high school with and you can judge them!!! Friend them on Facebook only to delete them in January! You’re WAY better off than Rachel! She has three kids and looks 48! Ha! Suck it, Head Cheerleader!
Serious Voice: You can step away from family events. Don’t feel trapped at home. Get out, take a break and do something else with old friends. Just don’t drink and drive.
4) NO POLITICS OR RELIGION – Who ever started a conversation about either of these and had it end in a hug and a smile? No one. Unless, you’re actually celebrating the real reason for Christmas and toasting a boozy eggnog happy birthday to Baby Jesus and his V-Card holding mamma. In which case; May the Lord bless and keep you.
Serious Voice: Keep it light to avoid heightened emotions and voices. Keeping the peace is easier than quieting the storm.
You might even realize that you’re Debbie Downer and are raining on everyone else’s Thanksgiving parade. Remember, the night/weekend/week will end, and you will go home. So don’t be a jerkface.
You have family obligations that you can’t avoid. Just take it and swallow it down.
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