Guide to Survive the Holidays!
But there is a number of ways in which you can get through it short of a medically-induced coma. Here are our tips to help you survive having to spend any time with those relatives who drive you nuts.
Conspire With Someone Who Shares Your Pain
Let’s face it, you can’t be the only member of the family annoyed by whatever it is that grates on you about your cousin, sister, uncle or other relative.
Once you identify the other victim um, affected individual, you can work on planning some kind of method of coping together. It could be as easy as just spelling each other off once the maximum tolerance level has been reached to some other tactic. Whatever you do, keep in mind that the planning is for your sanity and not anyone else’s.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Now’s your chance to get some space between you and a bit of a respite. Construct a list of tasks to pass out to each member of the family and try to match the level of difficulty to how long you want someone away from the same area code as you.
So, for example, the most annoying of the family members get the tasks that involve being away longer. Remember, although you may not really need a purple marker, knowing that the one person you dislike the most has travelled across town hunting for one should give you cause for at least a little smile.
Use Extra Bodies To Filter The Room
The idea here is that the more you water down the ratio of family members to non-family members you have a chance at survival. Plus, with more people present, the more fun you’ll have not being forced to be nice to family members you’d rather not see again.
Remove The Fuel If It Happens To Be Booze
Understand The Science Of The Perfect Seating Arrangement
You already know that everyone related to you that are sticking around for holiday dinner annoys the shit out of you. But what about those who don’t get along who remain in the family unit?
You could just seat everyone randomly but that defeats the purpose of trying to get through at least one meal without a full-contact food fight.
Use Topic Starters
That’s easy. On the back of each of the name tags you used on place settings to keep the seating arrangement under control you can control at least some of the conversation.
Write two or three interesting topic ideas on each card to allow everyone a chance to start a conversation with something other than an accusation or complaint. You’ll be surprised how much more fun dinner conversation can be if everyone has a little bit of input. Don’t expect to go through all of the topics but at least you’ll have a fighting chance to steer things away from those touchy ones.
Release The Children So They Don’t Become Targets
There is nothing worse than being forced to sit through a long, boring holiday dinner when you are 8-years old and would rather be throwing rocks at things outside. Don’t torture the children just because the adults are torturing you.
Pre-Plan Your Escape Route
This is a lot like a fire drill but instead of notifying the whole family of the plan and where to gather outside once everyone gets there, this is your survival plan. Know when you’ve had enough and need some air or a good stiff drink.
Either way, you need to vacate the premises in order to regain your composure and a little bit of your sanity.
Holy Crap, Batman … You Made It!
On the offhand chance you weather the storm and get to the end of the evening without uttering a threat, cutting someone or escaping to your safe place, you deserve to give yourself a little more than a pat on the back.
Before you even consider starting to clean up after those slovenly relatives of yours, take a well-deserved break. Draw a nice hot bath, pour a glass of wine, light some candles and crank up the tunes.
You Are Far From Alone On This One
If you happen to think that your family is the only one on the planet that puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, you are sorely mistaken.
Sure, yours could be hovering around the top five of the all-time worse examples of DNA in existence, but you now know how to cope with them as long as you choose to stay as part of this family. If the squirrely ones happen to be in-laws, you have a bit of breathing room. However, if the troubled family members happen to come from your DNA, you may have to fine tune your plan of attack for Christmas, Easter and that annual summer camping trip. Eventually you’ll have it so well planned that once the out-of-towners get their jackets off, you’ll be on your way down the highway for your own holiday away from your family.
Don’t worry, our intention is to not blow your cover but rather give you a cover you can adapt for those special occasions when you need it most. Remember, like we said at the beginning, you can’t pick your family but you sure can pick how long you intend to be around any of them on those holidays where everyone gets a little twitchy and fired up because there’s an audience to perform in front of. Its okay, you’ve got this under control…right?