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Here are 10 Tips for Surviving and Dealing With (the family) this Holiday


happy-family
happy-family image source: thyroidshop.com

What is it about holidays and family get togethers that send us into a tailspin of stress and lets face it, drunkeness? So, before you throw your family name again, here are a few simple ways to help get you through it relatively unscathed.

1: Don’t have unrealistic expectations
You know those happy, holiday movies featuring big, happy families celebrating Christmas with laughter, love and uhm, liquids? You know why they’re always popular this time of the year? Because they’re selling a fairytale – the perfect family celebration. It’s the Notebook, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Love Actually all rolled into one – it simply does not exist.

2: Initiation of the “Newcomer”
One of the most awkward moments is meeting a family member’s new partner around the holidays – there’s only one rule regarding this – For-The-Love-Of-All-Trifles-Get-Their-Name-Right. Other than that doesn’t matter if they’re vegan or not, just make them feel comfortable.

3: Present etiquette and appropriate appreciation
So it’s socks again, smile and say thank-you, it is after all the thought that counts – bonus if the tags still on and you can return it.

4: The Over-Enthusiastic (read: way-too-interested) Aunt
Again, just a polite nod is all she needs to draw all her information, like we say, “stil bly is ook ‘n antwoord” [silence is also an answer].

5: Fill your plate as much (or as little) as you want to
Forget gran’s, “are you sure you want to eat that” comments and side eyes, just eat whatever your heart desires.

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6: Traditions don’t have to be laws
If you want to do something different, don’t be afraid of the family’s reaction. As families grow we all need to adapt as we change: in fact, spicing things up a little may be just what you all need this year.

7: Avoid the uncle that drinks too much (or sit next to him)
His honesty and revelations aren’t always the best ways to spend a day, then again he may make such a scene that all attention is distracted from you.

8: Offer to help the host (aka hide in the kitchen)
You can show face and it makes time go faster. If you prefer family in small doses this also aids in your escape plans.

9: Don’t play the “compare” game with the cousins
So what if Thando has a new Rover? And Meghan just bought a new mansion and a marriage. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You just got a new pair of socks, right?

Take a nap in your childhood bedroom
Most importantly, rest this holiday, 2016 has been one of the worst years on record (I’m sure there’s scientific proof somewhere) and nothing clears your head than staring at your Spice Girls memorabilia and drifting off for a while after mom’s famous peppermint fridge tart.

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