Surviving Christmas With the “F” Word
You have spent all year avoiding them. You have dodged phone calls, faked being sick when they wanted to visit and turned the lights out and dove behind the sofa when there was that unwanted knock on the door. But the inevitable is just around the corner… Christmas. And with Christmas brings the “F” word… Family.
This holiday is the great equalizer. The time when, not only the retailers insist you be with these people, but your own conscious may get the best of you. So I have put together some Christmas activities for families to help you survive the season with the people you were raised with, or the people who were thrust upon you the moment you said, “I do.”
Keep Them Busy
The best way to survive Christmas with the family is to keep them busy. Personally, I like to have a list of chores handy that I can easily refer to when the family is getting on my nerves. For example, men are easily wrangled into getting any little household problem taken care of. Leaky faucets, loose screws, a problem with your car, these all keep the men busy and feeling like manly-men.
However, know your target. If the restless man in your family can’t fix things, then don’t set him loose on any of your precious items. Instead, give him a less complicated task like changing the light bulbs or replacing the batteries in all your smoke alarms. These are still manly-tasks, but not so much so that you are going to need a professional to clean up a minor repair-gone-wrong, after the holidays.
Does your mother-in-law tend to feel like she needs to take-over your household the second she enters through the door? After all, no one can take care of her precious son and his offspring like she can? Hence why he still can’t pack a lunch for himself or find his way to the laundry room.
Instead of getting angry and resentful, let her take over. Put away those feelings of inadequacy and the need to prove something to her. Let mommy-in-law dearest step in and do all the work. If she hates the way you clean, let her have a go at it. Kids aren’t being kept the way she see’s fit, let grandma take the reigns. Sure your kids may hate you for a while for subjecting them to the torture, but hey, it’s Christmas and we all need to give a little.
Lend Them Out
We never see our own family the way others do. Friends and neighbors will find Auntie’s stories about her travels to the antique stores endearing, or grandma’s step-by-step account of her hip replacement (and a preview of the scar) to be entertaining; if you liked it the first time you’ll love it the tenth time. Use these fresh ears and attitudes to get the family out of your hair. Let Auntie show your neighbor the best way to polish her old wooden desk or let granny look after your friend’s little ones while the two of you go get facials. It’s an awesome break for you and the family will feel valued and needed. Plus, one look at grannie’s naked butt is sure to keep the kids quiet until at least New Years.
Get Them Involved
If your family shows up a few days before Christmas, then get them involved. Make a point of telling them that you accidentally (on purpose) have forgotten several key food items you need for the big day. Plus, in order to buy you more time and peace of mind, make sure the items are extremely hard to find and requires travelling long distances and several stops at speciality stores to find it. Better yet, make sure after said item is found, to suddenly remember another must-have item – you can milk this for days.
Sure, your mother-in-law may roll her eyes at your unpreparedness and your total lack of respect for the most important meal of the year. Let it go – like the big pile of snow sitting precariously on the overhanging tree limb you wish would take a plunge at the precise moment she goes to get into the car – just let it go and be sure to park the car under the tree.
Spike the Coffee
The big day is here and what’s the holiday season without the deep dark aroma of freshly brewed and delightfully spiked coffee? Adding a little Kaloha to the coffee can bring many moments of heartwarming, family bliss. Be sure to add a generous amount of liquor to this innocent beverage, then sit back and watch the magic happen.
Aunties antiques will take on a whole new life and grannies naked bottom and jagged scar will become just another funny memory. The family will be together in ways you never thought possible, even if the smoke alarms are all hanging from the ceiling and your car now makes a weird rattling sound… it’s all good.
However, there is one catch. Be sure not to let the kids drink out of your cup and hide the hooch before your mother-in-law can roll her eyes at you again. If she does, then just dive behind the sofa and have a merry (sleep-it-off) Christmas…