For most, thoughts of the holidays conjure images of turkey, tinsel and tryptophan comas. However, for others it may inspire anxiety, dread and general uneasiness over the thought of your overbearing family. If your family is anything like mine, upon entering Grandma’s house you’re inundated with questions about your love life, asked to borrow money and immediately shoved into a tiny kitchen with six other women while the males sit and watch football in the living room.
Over the years, I’ve mastered maneuvers to make it through those visits. Hopefully my suggestions will help or at least make you feel better about having a crazy family too!
1. Take a piece offering. Even if Aunt Whoever tells you she’s got it covered, score points by bringing a simple dessert or side dish. Just don’t bring something she’s already made because she’ll accuse you of thinking you make it better than she does. LOL!
2. Have an ally, a friendly face. My family tends to behave themselves when strangers are around. Even if your family doesn’t keep those annoying, “when are you going to get married,” questions to themselves, a friend to swap “WTF” glances is a God-send! If at all possible, make it a gay guy. The ladies will love his fashion tips and your mean, Neanderthal uncle will avoid the both of you.
3. Take your knitting with you. For one, it calms you down and you can use the needles as defense when your ornery male cousins pick on you. If you don’t knit, take whatever arts and crafts, A.K.A busy work, to keep your mind occupied and your heart rate down. “Woosah!”
4. Whether you’re coming in from out of town or just driving a few blocks, try to remember it’s only for a little while. Having light at the end of the long, dark, guilt trip tunnel helps keep things in perspective.
5. Speaking of perspective, try to remember that your family isn’t the worst. When all else fails, pop in a copy of “National Lampoon’s, Christmas Vacation.” It’s funny, festive and you’ll be thankful your family is only two-thirds as bad as the “Griswolds.”
In addition, keep in mind these few things NOT to do.
1. Don’t joke around with your overly sensitive brother. No matter what, he won’t think it’s as funny as you do.
2. Don’t drink too much booze. A little can take the edge off, but too much and you’re stuck longer to sober up.
3. Don’t answer the question if your somewhat plump sister asks if she looks fat. Don’t lie, but don’t tell the truth. Fake a sneeze and leave the room to blow your nose.
4. Don’t put yourself in the position to argue with a family member that will NEVER admit to being wrong. You end up with nothing but the desire to spike their mashed potatoes with rat poison.
5. DON’T SPIKE ANYONE’S FOOD WITH RAT POISON!
Family will always be family and chances are they love you a million times more than they are annoying. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first, family is a blessing. Here’s to you and your family and may you all have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Featured photo: 20th Century Fox / www.millionaireplayboy.com