Rant of the Week: How to Survive Your Family During the Holidays

awkward family photos

Yesterday I flew to Florida. My flight was delayed when the plane had to return to the gate to let off two babies who wouldn’t stop shrieking like tiny banshees, and then I realized I was sitting in front of a 12-year-old boy with tourette’s, who kept kicking the back of my seat and talking about how majestic rattlesnakes are. And that was just on the journey here. Its no secret that the holidays are stressful. In fact, at this very moment I am sitting in front of a TV that is blasting Sponge Bob, while trying to keep my two-year-old niece from electrocuting herself with my boot-leg laptop charger. I think everyone could use a few tips on how to stop stressing out this season, so here they are.

Drink. I know this one may be a given, but I am not talking about having a glass of champagne with dinner. I am talking about sneaking into your mother’s house in the dark of night and spiking the eggnog with Everclear. I am talking about mixing your table wine with your sister’s leftover pills from her recent car accident. I am talking about getting so shitfaced that you don’t even remember the holiday in question. This may sound like a bad idea to you, but I have kind of always wanted to be that funny, drunk uncle that nobody takes seriously.

Isolate. The most stressful part of visiting your family is probably the sheer amount of personalities in one confined place at any time. Trying to communicate with 6 people and 3 kids each with a persona more quirky than Zooey Deschanel on a bad day (or a good day, for that matter)  can be completely overwhelming. Try spending time with one member at a time, even if you have to leave the room to do so. This will allow you to bond with them and create new memories, while keeping the hair on your head.

Tune out. Tuning out is what I am doing right now. It involves pretending that you are somewhere else; anywhere else than where you are. When you are from a family as loud and crazy as mine (which keeps getting bigger with brand new little bastards every year) tuning out is a must. It takes a lot of concentration of course, but if the alternative is going bat-shit insane and murdering your entire family its worth it.

Keep lists. If you are like me, your mom will most likely send you on a list of crazy errands involving everything from putting up curtains to cleaning out the lint trap of the dryer and taking the kids to a Chinese buffet. Keeping a list of all the things expected of you will cut down on the stress and let you check off one thing at a time.

Take time for yourself. Its true that the holidays are about spending time with your family, but if you act like a neurotic, raging bitch you probably won’t be making that many great new memories. Its important to have some alone time, even if all you are doing is relaxing in a bath, or masturbating in the garage. Follow these tips, and you might just make it through the holidays.

I make no promises about the apocalyptic Mayan Calendar, however.

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By Gary
Gary is the gay guy that every girl wants to be, and every guy wants to be with (Mostly because he can't get pregnant). He is based in Manhattan, but loves traveling to exotic new people, and sleeping with interesting new places. He is an adventurous writer, digital artist, and game designer that will try almost anything if it makes a good story. --Instagram: @garyadrianrandall --Twitter: @gadrianrandall