Call me a cynic if you must, but the cheery and often looked forward to Holiday season can be typically fraught with tension, fear, loathing, depression, and just plain misery.
Norman Rockwell is part of the problem. His idyllic pictures of family life have ruined the holidays for so many of us.
So at this late hour, I offer you my Top Ten Dysfunctional Tips for surviving the Holidays…
1. Get rid of any and all expectations. Most expectations are really premeditated resentments in disguise. Assume your time with the family is going to be pure and utter hell. This way, there will be no disappointment if this turns out to be true, and if it doesn’t, you will be pleasantly surprised or shocked as the case may be.
2. Accept the family dynamic that it is almost impossible for family members to see the other family members as they are as adults. If you’re the youngest child, you could be 50 years old and you will still be treated as the baby of the family. While this is infuriating, WHATEVER. Leave your pride and ego at the door. It’s a temporary blip in your life. In fact, take advantage of the situation. Insist on the turkey leg and throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way.
3. Medicate yourself to make it through. Here are some options: The always-reliable alcohol, the stronger the better. Nyquil, the now legal-in-Colorado “special cookies” and tranquilizers can always add to the holiday festivities, especially in combination with the alcohol. However, know your limits. Many a holiday has been ruined by those drunken guests who decide that it’s finally time to confront Mom and Dad about all the terrible things they did to them when they were children.
4. Develop the flu real quick and gracefully and tearfully decline at the last minute due to your concern and care about exposing other family members to this highly contagious and annoying illness.
5. Develop a quick case of amnesia. Don’t show up and explain on Friday that when you woke up on Thanksgiving, you had no idea of who you or where you were. Find phony brain scans to prove your claim.
6. Become a Jehovah’s Witness and calmly ask your family to respect your newfound religious beliefs, which include not celebrating godless and hedonistic traditions.
7. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter and tell your family that while it is a huge sacrifice for you to not be sharing in this most momentous of family meals, you need to share your abundance with those less fortunate than you. Anyone who criticizes you will look like a heartless and entitled capitalist pig.
8. Become a raw vegan and tell your family that you don’t want to put them out by having to accommodate your narrow and restrictive diet. Toss in a lecture about how their diet is ruining their colons and any other organ imaginable that will ensure you will never be invited again.
9. Claim that Thanksgiving contributes to global warming and in all good conscience, it’s more important for you to support the planet rather than the glutinous needs of the family.
10. Skip the Thanksgiving meal and tell your family that you became so engrossed in reading about the Petraeus debacle and watching youtube videos of Chris Christie on SNL, you lost track of time.
Notice that seven out of my ten tips get you out of the holiday all together. But if you insist on going, the first 3 tips should be enough to get you through.
Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble…gobble…
**A tongue and cheek look at the holidays. Please take it as such.