First, let me set the record straight, I do love my family and I love spending time with them! But not all of them… and not during the busiest, most stressful time of year, when I already desperately need a break from humans ...
Over the years I’ve perfected a system to make the festive season as pain-free as possible. So if you also need some inspiration to avoid throwing the glazed ham at your aunt who keeps asking when you’re going to have a baby, hopefully, this helps!
Plan a diversion
Have a strategy for escaping awkward situations. This could be volunteering to help with food, so when you’re asked for the fifth time why you’re not dating anyone you can run away to check on the turkey. Or if you are there with a partner, agree to whisk each other off to safety with an excuse about car troubles, or a drink they just have to try.
Get stuck into the eggnog
Some people would advise you to lay off the booze, but I say embrace it! There’s nothing like a couple of mimosas to help you ignore unwanted criticism from your judgemental sister-in-law. And side note – if you haven’t tried eggnog you definitely need to! This is my go-to recipe for a blissful calorie overload: delish.com
Hold on to Christmas cracker jokes
If there’s an awkward lull in the conversation, just bust out a joke! It’s guaranteed to either break the tension or make the other person cringe and want to get away from you. If you need a joke before the crackers have been pulled, here are some back-ups: “why do you never see reindeer hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it”, “my dog used have a habit of at chasing people on bikes. It got so bad I had to take away his bikes” and “can a kangaroo jump higher than a house? Of course! Houses can’t jump at all!"
Wear a muumuu
This will help you avoid a different sort of uncomfortable situation – wear the loosest dress you own so you can pig out on the buffet without looking like Santa squeezed into a bodycon dress! Men – opt for an elastic waistband. You don’t need the judgement of a zipper on the most delicious day of the year.
It’s usually a good idea not to bring up the state of the Government around that uncle after he’s sunk a few bevvies. But if you get tricked into an intense political debate, here are some easy one-liners that should see you shut out immediately: “I support marijuana legalisation”, “Greta Thunberg for Prime Minister" or "OK boomer".
Don’t be there
If all else fails, make an excuse. "Sorry, I have my work Christmas function!" or "oh no, we’ll be away camping!" or "my toddler caught a virus and is exploding out both ends!" If you know the family Christmas will stress you out too much or just make you downright miserable, what is the point of going?
Contributed to The Hits by anonymous.