It’s that wonderful time of year again! The weather is frightful, Christmas music is playing everywhere, and you’re stuck with your family without a school bus or work commute in sight. There’s nothing better than the idea of spending the holidays with your family, whether it’s for a few days or a week. But we all know the reality of it is a bit like going through labor. The holidays are magical in theory; unbearable in practice.
For most, family get-togethers require military-like tactics for staying out of sticky situations. Before you head over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, give the following suggestions some thought:
- Give up all hope. Give up the hope that your family will act perfect, or even remotely reasonable. Before you meet with your relatives this season, take a few moments to sit quietly and prepare to accept them even if they behave as they have always done in the past. As you watch them play out their usual psychoses, you can sit back at the table and just down that glass of wine…or maybe the entire bottle.
- Set the boundaries, and stick to your guns. No, I don’t actually mean legit guns. I mean, don’t let your relatives nudge your arm and ask you, “So, why aren’t you married yet?” You just eat your damn pumpkin pie and drink your wine, and be fat, happy, and single if you want to. Respectfully ignore their questions or divert their attention to someone else.
- Limit the libations. Tempers rise as inhibitions fall. You’re more likely to tell your uncle what a jerk he is if you’re drinking more than you can handle, and you don’t really need to do that. Stick to your limit. You could also switch to drinking warm apple cider, because who doesn’t love that?!
- It’s the holidays! Take a break from your stressful life and relax! You love your family, and they love you. This doesn’t have to be a stressful or traumatic experience. Enjoy the fact that you’re spending time surrounded by love, even if said love may sometimes drive you a little nuts. If you do find yourself getting too stressed out, excuse yourself, take a stroll in the yard, or take a time out by swaying on the porch swing by yourself. Just do what will get you through the holiday season.
If all else fails, and none of these suggestions work, then take a deep breath and remember that Christmas only comes once a year. If Britney Spears can make it through her mental breakdown in 2007, you can get through this one day with your family. Don’t be a scrooge and sulk during the holidays. Learn to take a step back from all the stress and chaos that resides within your family and realize that even though you didn’t get to pick them, you still wouldn’t choose anyone else to spend the holidays with.
Happy holidays to everyone from your Unwritten Team!