Holiday Survival Guide
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Yes, indeed! The holidays are once again approaching. Don’t look now—they’re gaining on you! Just when you thought it was safe to leave your house—just when you were beginning to feel good about yourself—the holiday season is here to knock you right back down.

Within a matter of days, you’ll be surrounded by large amounts of all kinds of wonderful things. All those things that are only wonderful in small doses. Like fudge. And turkey. And Christmas cookies. And really strange people, who—though you try not to admit it—are your relatives. And, of course, silly party games. And don’t forget the green stuff that Aunt Sophie makes every year.

So you might as well just deck those halls with that darn holly again. Because Santa’s looking—and so is your mom. You have no choice but to be jolly. But no one’s saying that you can’t have a little bit of fun as you munch on another handful of Cousin Jenny’s chocolate-covered pretzels. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to make it safely to next year.

  
 
  • Tell everyone how much your life has changed in the past year. You’re working as a __________, and you’re engaged to a guy / girl named ___________. Fill in the blanks with something new each time you talk to a different relative.

  • Now is the time to experiment with your baking! You know those spices you have but never use? Now’s the time! Go nuts! Because they’re family—they have to try it and be nice about it! Or, better yet—if anyone asks you if you made it, say, “No. Aunt Betty did.” Sit back and watch.

  • Tell everyone that you’re going back to school to pursue a career in whatever it is that half your family does. This is especially fun in you come from a family of, say, bus drivers. There’s a bonus involved here. Not only will it be fun to see their reaction, but you’ll probably come out of it with extra Christmas presents!

  • Hold nothing back. If you want to sing Christmas carols loudly while dancing on the goodies table, go ahead.

  • Make up your own language. Pretend not to understand anyone else.

  • Spread rumors. Tell Aunt Sally that you heard Uncle Merle say that he thinks that Aunt Lucy’s famous potato salad actually comes from the local deli. Or that Grandma thinks that Aunt Lucy is a lying busy-body. Or that Uncle Merle said he thought he saw Cousin Jenny working as a cashier at K-Mart—despite the fact that she’s been telling everyone that she’s a successful salesperson.

  • Hang out with the little kids. Remember how much fun Christmas was when you were their age? Besides…they have all the good toys.

  • When someone asks you where you’re working now, say you’re not allowed to tell. Study your relatives suspiciously. Then whisper, “Are you really sure Uncle Bob is on our side?”

  • Go to the corner gas station before the party and buy all of your presents there. Beef jerky for Grandpa. A 2-liter of Jolt for Aunt Suzie. A package of Ho-Hos for Cousin Justin. Don’t forget to bring the wrapping paper—or ask the cashier if you can have a separate bag for each one.

  • Give the little kids extra candy and cookies when their parents aren’t looking. Then encourage them to see who can run around the room the fastest.

  • Rent a family. You know…get yourself a spouse and a couple of young kids for the day. If anyone asks you about the kids, just say, “They’ve grown up so fast, haven’t they?”

  • Or…if you just can’t face another holiday season, fake your own kidnapping. Spend a month in California. It’s all paid. After all, your parents think it’s ransom money!


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