For many, the holiday season can invoke a lot of emotions and while the time is usually one of food and fun, it can also be an anxiety fueled part of year. Spending extended periods with your family can be a blessing or a curse.
Did you die during that particularly brutal final exam and end up in the bad place? If you fall into the I’ve-been-here-for-a-day-and-have-had-enough-family-time camp, then this Sheaf guide is for you.
“Go for ‘a walk’ with your cousins before family dinner.” This cryptic tip is open to interpretation. What you do on that walk is up to you. Get some air, if ya know what we mean.
“Have tea and watch you favourite Christmas movie.” Spend some wholesome time with your family and pour a cuppa of chamomile to soothe your nerves. Sub tea for a Hot Toddy — bourbon, lemon, honey and hot water — and you really have this on lock.
“Hide under the table where all the food is.” Not sure why your food would be under the table, but hey, traditions are traditions and we aren’t going to question anything. No food table? Anything with four legs and a covering would do. Try the guest bed.
“Stay in your room, avoid everyone and only come down for dinner.” Nostalgic for your emo teenage years? Relive them over break and hide out from your family. Bonus points if you wear all black to dinner and brood at the dinner table.
“Find something to do. Bake elaborate desserts for presents and for Christmas dinner so that you have a legit sounding excuse to disappear.” Nothing says I love my family like stress-baking away your feelings of despair.
“Wrap presents in another room, insisting nobody come in and bother you because they can’t see the unwrapped presents. Avoid the human.” Grab some wrapping paper and ribbon, lock the door — or wedge a chair under the doorknob like the good old days — and throw on some Netflix. For a better experience, smuggle in some of those stress-baked cookies.
“Talk about your incarcerated relatives notable absence without acknowledging that they are convicted criminals.” Nothing puts the fun back in dysfunctional quite like awkward dinner conversations where we all skirt around the family secrets.
“Use the three strikes rule. Give them the benefit of the doubt if they say two problematic things. Wait until the third time to initiate debate. Pull out those receipts.” Offend me twice, shame on you. Offend me three times and I am coming out swinging. Drop the eggnog, Uncle Al, it’s time to atone for your ignorance.
“Schedule one night to hang out with old high school friends, but don’t commit to hang out with them until you are positive they aren’t in any pyramid schemes. Check their social media thoroughly.” At the first sign of any Younique, Young Living, Monat sales pitch, they are as good as ghosted. Fill the void by watching the pros slay in On Becoming A God in Central Florida.
“Find one cousin you know would help keep your sanity and isolate yourself for the whole holiday.” There is nothing quite like solidarity while in the trenches.
And last but not least, “follow the 3D principle” — not a multi-level marketing scheme, we swear — “of dealing with nosy relatives: Deaf, Deflect, Deny”.
You’ve trained all year for this. Make it through the family time and secure yourself some sanity. You deserve it after this semester from hell.
Photo: Flickr / Roebot