It’s that time of the year—you just want to eat your turkey in peace, but your drunk conservative uncle is screaming about the greatness of Trump while your stoned socialist cousin is yelling back about how we need Bernie Sanders to save America. Even the sanest of families will have flashes of conflict and stress over the holidays, so if you’re spending time with the fam, MakeaGif has your back with our survival guide to getting through the chaos of the season.
The “Tom & Jerry” Cocktail
Use “it’s a classic traditional drink” as an excuse to get pie-eyed. The Tom and Jerry cocktail is an old-fashioned twist on Egg Nog that’s served hot and extra-boozy. With both rum and cognac, it’s sure to put you in a comfy cloud where nothing can bother you.
Fake Phone Call Apps
There’s a number of apps that will ring your cell with a fake “important call that can’t wait” so you can get a break from a sticky situation. Some will even call you with a recorded voice that will recite a script that you can say back into the phone so as to be extra convincing.
Don’t Trust the Christmas Movie: Have Realistic Expectations
We’re all more susceptible than we like to admit to the messages that greeting cards, movies, and TV specials, give us about the holidays. Sure there will be some great times, but there will also be crying babies, angry aunts, crappy presents, and overcooked food. Take a few moments before you get on the plane to set realistic expectations. Heck, try to picture the worst that will happen, and it’ll make you more psychologically resilient.
Bring a Friend
If you have a friend who’s going to be alone for the holidays, bring them along. A new face will put most families on their best behavior. And if it doesn’t then you’ll, at least, have a resource to confide in and cheer you up.
Remember this phrase: “It’s Not About Me.”
You’re not the star of whatever holiday drama you find yourself in. It may feel that way, but you’ll feel better by repeating the phrase “It’s not about me.” People have their complexes, issues, and agendas going on, and though they might focus some of that fall out on you, you’re not the cause. You’ll free yourself by reminding yourself of this simple truth.
The Invisible Girlfriend/Boyfriend Service
Grandma won’t stop asking about why you haven’t found a nice girl? You can’t come out to your conservative mom? You came out of the closet last Christmas and are too embarrassed to admit you haven’t scored a partner yet? Sign up for the Invisible Girlfriend or Boyfriend service! They’ll create a fake romantic partner for you and include photos, texts, and a story of how you met.
Break Old Habits
You might be an adult now, but we all have the inclination to fall into the habits and relationships we built as children. If you’re aware of this, you can have power over it. So don’t regress when dealing with your older brother, he can’t give you wet willies anymore, and don’t let your parents treat you like a kid.
Political Fights: You’ll Never Win
If you start arguing about politics over the plum pudding, remember that you can’t win. Even if you’re right, and you have the facts and figures it won’t change their mind, not in that dinner table context. Take a deep breath and change the subject.
Political Fights: Find Common Ground
If you can’t get out of political discussions, steer them towards common ground. You might think there isn’t any, but you’ll be surprised. Your aunt volunteers at the soup kitchen so when she tries to convert you talk about the atheists you know who volunteer in the community. You’ve got an awesome gun collection, and your brother-in-law won’t shut up about Edward Snowden, so talk about government over-reach. Find the common thread and focus on it and you might even have a productive conversation.
Okay, so none of that political advice we just gave worked. After being called a communist or right wing nutbag a few dozen times over plum pudding you need some inner peace. Sneak away to your room and try some simple guided meditations with the Headspace app. They have calming exercises that are only minutes long if you need a quick shot of relaxation.
If it’s not realistic to find some private, uninterrupted space for meditation Breathe2Relax will chill you out anywhere. Head to the washroom and follow the instructions on this app to relax immediately by using specialized breathing exercises.
The Scientific Seven-Minute Workout
Nothing relieves stress better than a workout. But if you’re cooped up at grandpa’s country cabin hours away from any gym use the Scientific Seven-Minute Workout app. This quick exercise routine was developed to give you a full body workout with no special equipment and can be done anywhere. Plus, it’ll help you burn off those extra calories.
This alcohol delivery app is a life-saver. If you’re too toasted to drive to the nearest liquor store, but not lit up enough to deal with family and you need reinforcements just open it up on your phone and place your order. Before you know it, sweet liquor is on the way to keep your haze going.
Stick to Something From Your Regular Routine
Whether you’re hosting a million cousins, uncles, and in-laws or you’re travelling and staying in your old room at your parents your normal life is disrupted. Stay grounded by incorporating at least a few favorite elements from your usual routine. Go for that daily jog or have that nice coffee with the newspaper; whatever it is choose some comforting activities and keep them in your holiday schedule.
If things are going particularly dire, get everybody too drunk to talk by mixing up a huge bowl of potent Christmas punch. Most punch recipes (like this one) go down smooth, and the spices and juices disguise how much liquor there actually is in the bowl.
What are your tips, tricks, and secrets for getting through the holidays with your family? Let us know in the comments section below, we could always use more!