Ultimate Guide to Surviving the Holidays

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It’s that time of year again; the leaves are changing and fluttering to the ground and the temperature is dropping. Family members are starting to threaten to get together for holiday dinners and asking you to “bring a side dish” or “please don’t mention Trump to Uncle Steve again.”

Getting through this season of family dinners and cliché parties is enough to send anyone straight to the bottom of a bottle, but there are ways to cope that won’t leave you wishing you’d booked that one-way flight to Bermuda (probably).

Section A: Politics are Always a No-No

1. Don’t mention or respond to the following topics:
• Trump
• “Crooked Hillary”
• Trade Deals
• The Wall
• Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry
• Rachel Dolezal’s ancestry
• Melania Trump’s fashion
• Illegal Immigration
• Kavanaugh
2. What to do if those topics get brought up:
• Smile and nod.
• Stuff an entire dinner roll in your mouth to kill the ability to respond.
• Drop your fork and dive under the table to retrieve it, hoping the subject has changed by the time you resurface.
• Use your utensils to do a drum roll on your plate every time someone says, Trump.
• Use bits of dinner roll as earplugs in a very showy manner.
• Sneak off to the kitchen and eat all the pie.
3. When desperate times call for desperate measures:
• Stand up at the table and shout “Give me liberty or give me death!”
• Stand up at the table and announce that you’re pregnant (bonus points if you’re a man).
• Slip green beans into people’s drinks while they’re busy arguing with each other.
• Use your spoon as a mini-catapult and launch chunks of stuffing at anyone who mentions politics.
Section B: Maintaining Your Personal Space

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1. Evading intrusive questions about your life:
• Smile and nod.
• Stuff an entire dinner roll in your mouth to kill the ability to respond.
• Sneak off to the kitchen and drink all the wine.
• Tell everyone a different story so that Uncle Steve thinks you’re joining the military, Great Grandma thinks you’re a published author, and Cousin Eddie thinks you’re “waiting to hear back on a job with a detective agency.”
• Pretend you’ve temporarily lost your hearing and make them repeat the question several times before responding loudly with “I don’t know, but I think you should see your doctor about that embarrassing rash.”
• Mention Trump and then sneak off to the kitchen and eat all the pie.
2. Avoiding unwanted and awkward hugs and kisses:
• Go on the offensive and make a beeline for the worst offender of the awkward hug; wrap your arms tightly around them and keep hugging and patting their back until they squirm to getaway.
• Wear excessive amounts of perfume or just a little Axe body spray.
• Warn everyone that you’re contagious; if they ask what you’re sick with, make something up.
• Act like you think it’s a game and duck under their arms as they reach for you, saying “Whoa! You almost got me that time!”
Section C: Being a Good Dinner Companion

1. Discuss interesting and engaging topics such as:
• Uncle Steve’s recent bankruptcy.
• The marijuana dispensary that just opened down the street.
• Your unemployed sister’s job search.
• Intriguing fungal infections.
2. Show concern for your family:
• Intercept Cousin Eddie before he gets to the pie and says “I know you’re trying to watch your weight.”
• Whisk away your mother’s wine glass before she can refill it because you “know she’s trying to cut back.”
• Openly pass your brother a pamphlet for a rehab center with a sympathetic look.
• Tuck a sweater around Aunt Lila’s shoulders and tell her you’re sorry about her “condition.”
Making it through a family dinner during this holiday season doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little creativity, a few errors in judgment and a lot of highly questionable conversation starters, this season can be the most exciting and entertaining one yet! And remember, it’s bad form to openly drink all the wine.

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Ultimate Guide to Surviving the Holidays