Oh the holidays, how I have spent years loathing and avoiding them. Trust me when I say my family is “special” and I’ve had valid reasons for spending the past 9 years on the other side of the country.
This year is different.
My sisters and I just bought the mother a plane ticket. It’s going to be a living fucking hallmark card. Is the sarcasm coming through?
The truth is that I’m looking forward to it but that’s also because I’ve done this a few times and know how to handle it. I know that a few of you will be dealing with similar situations so let me help you make the most of the holiday season while keeping the stress to a minimum.
Avoid the booze:
While you will be justified in wanting to get shitfaced, don’t. Stick with weed (see below) unless you’re trying to go to jail. For some reason booze amplifies stupid and is never a good idea in a tense situation. Rum is truth serum and you know where that leads. Now, I’m not saying it’s not cool to have one or two in good company, just be careful.
Stay on neutral ground:
One of my big rules for being home for the holidays is that under no circumstances do I actually stay with my family. I’m lucky I have friends in the area who know how batshit crazy my family is and are nice enough to let me crash with them. This keeps you from getting overwhelmed, especially if you haven’t seen your people in a while. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that even if shit hits the fan, you have somewhere else to go and that you’re not stuck sharing a bathroom with your asshole uncle (see below).
Weed is your friend:
The good news for me is that weed is one of the few things my family has in common and it can often ease tense situations. For those of you who’s family isn’t as cool as mine, vape pens are the way to go. They’re discreet and the odor isn’t as prevalent thus making it easier to sneak a puff or two without it being too noticeable. While you can’t change your family, you can change your state of mind.
Your family might think you’re an asshole but if they’re digging on the deviled eggs you made, it helps. If you’re cooking for your family, keep it simple. Plan ahead and know that no meal in the history of cooking has ever gone off without some kind of hitch. You will forget things, something will get spilled, people will be in the way, this is just part of the deal.
You can’t fix your racist uncle:
We all have that one asshole in the family. Surprisingly, I’m the funcle(the fun uncle). The point is that you will might have to put up with a lot of people you might not be fond of. These people tend to be both judgmental and vocal in their opinions, often about things they know nothing about. You’re not going to change their mind, you’re not going to fix them. They’re looking for a fight since chances are they have nothing better to do. Don’t waste your time feeding the animals. Laugh, hit your vape pen and take the higher ground. It’s not worth the stress and you’re not going to change their mind. In this situation, you can be right or you can be happy.
Remember why you’re there:
The holidays are a time to come together. Things get stressful, people say and do stupid shit, they lose focus. It’s easy to get cynical and if you want to be an asshole, that’s your choice. But if you’re reading this, chances are your life doesn’t suck that bad. Don’t have a reason to celebrate? Find one! Get your head out of your ass and go volunteer somewhere, do something cool for someone else.
Life is painful, everyone goes through shit. The holidays are when we need to be able to come unify, regardless of race or faith or any of that other stuff. Don’t let the corporate greed and the commercialization make you jaded and stressed. Remember, we’re all in this together regardless of how it seems.