Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top 5 Holiday (Grinch) Tips

Most of us have accepted the fact that stores have begun vomiting out red and green glitter before Halloween even ends, but that doesn’t keep many of us from feeling the wave of anxiety that rolls through when we walk by the gardenia lotion gift sets, the ornaments shaped like Twilight figurines and the giggling stuffed elf dolls.

The stores insist we prepare ourselves for the long and often times unpleasant winter holiday season before we’ve even stuffed ourselves with our foreplay holiday—Thanksgiving. This overload can turn some of us (me included) into, well, Grinches. Here are the top 5 worst holiday problems solutified.

1) Dread: The Family Drama

We’ve all been there, eating our mashed potatoes or pecan pie when despised relative #1 opens mouth and releases some absurdly rude question. This question can open the possibility for so many options.

Do you:

A. Respond with a quip of equal rudeness

B. Change the subject

C. Walk away

D. All of the above.

Most advisors would dissuade you from A. but let’s be real. You’ll feel better if you say what’s on your mind, or as close to what’s on your mind as personally comfortable. That is why I suggest D. Here is an example.

Rude Relative #1: So, Krystal, when are you are going to get married?

ME: A. (the quip) What an interesting question, Rude Relative #1, I plan to get married when patriarchy ends. B (the subject change). So, I heard that you and Rude Relative #2 went to France over the summer, how was your trip?

Rude Relative #1: *goes on about trip*

Me: *finishes pie* “Wow, that sounds like a great time, oh, look, I’m all out of pie, better take my plate to the kitchen C. (walk away).

Remember. Enjoy your pie. Try to find the positives in the “rude relative,” if you cannot, simply excuse yourself. Do not feel pressured into debating over a subject that you have no common ground or experiences on—it will be a waste of everyone’s time and energy. If relatives feel the need to bring up family problems i.e. alcoholism, jail time, partner choices etc. Politely remind them that you’re all uniting for holiday enjoyment, all problems should be discussed another time.

2) Sickness: The Swine

Traveling through cities, staying in other people’s home, children with their snotty noses, all of these things and more could wreck havoc on your immune system. Most of us have been bombarded with ways to avoid the swine flu, or any other flu/cold for that matter. We’ve heard it all before, wash your hands, sanitize your hands, here’s an idea: QUIT TOUCHING STUFF with your hands. One way you could do that is by wearing gloves when you go out and taking them off before touching yourself with them. Also, if you’re already sick don’t go to the family function. It’s RUDE. Have your cousin bring you back some pie when the dinner is over and be grateful you didn’t have to deal with Rude Relative #1.

3) Gluttony: The Pie (and the potatoes, and the dips, and the chips, and the booze)

Oh the booze. A must have during the holiday season, it may even be more important than pie—but that is debatable. People make a big deal about getting fat during the holidays. Here’s a simple suggestions: quit eating so god-damn much. Oh and maybe go for an f-ing walk once in a while. Seriously, though, people always talk about portion control over Thanksgiving or Christmas. That really isn’t the problem. Overeating once or twice a year is not going to make you gain that 15+ pounds you feel you need to burn off in the New Year. It’s over-eating all through fall and winter months without burning off those excess calories. And we do it because we’re evolutionarily inclined to gain weight when it starts to get cold. How to fight it? Become a vegetarian. WHAT!!!! That’s the solution???? Fuck yeah it is. No one mainstream is going to tell you that Mr. Turkey or Mrs. Pig Ham is loaded with artery-blocking, cholesterol-raising, fat-churning, fatty fat fat, but it is. And it could kill you (circle of life anyone??) Take away meat and you have more room for booze and pie (just make sure they don’t use animal fat to make it). Click here for more vegetarian facts

4) Greed: The Shit Gift

This is what re-gifting is all about. Our social connection to capitalism makes many of us feel that the best way to show someone how much we care is by buying them something. Yet often, there is so much pressure to buy buy buy that we often don’t show our love very well and we end up either giving or receiving some gaudy sequined sweater or soap shaped like the president; gifts we never wanted and have no use for. What to do if you receive said gift? Lying is always an option.

When to lie. 1) If you receive a homemade gift that was heartfelt but didn’t quit hit the mark. LIE. Act like you are thoroughly grateful—because really, at least there was the thoughtfulness put into it. 2) If it’s something you know you can take back. LIE. Say, that they know you so well you actually already have it, whatever it is, and ask if they have the receipt.

5) Boredom: The Escape Plan

You’re at a party. You want to leave. You don’t know how to do it politely and gracefully. This time it’s best not to lie but to keep it simple. Thank the host and say you have to go. If they seem to want more of an explanation, mention you have many holiday events to attend to this month and need to reserve energy (if you do) or if you’re bored say you’re not feeling well, because honestly, boredom is not a good feeling.

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