Happy early Thanksgiving y’all! How are you spending the holiday weekend? I would rather remove my own appendix than travel during Thanksgiving week, so luckily the Mister has family in town that we will visit on Thursday. It’s also far less stressful to spend the holidays with someone else’s family than with your own. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family… from a distance. But five days with your whole family in one house can be rough for anyone. With that in mind, I decided to share some of my tips for getting through family holidays. (If you were looking for a post about “The meaning of the season” or “What I’m thankful for,” this is probably not it.)
1. Look great
There is something about dressing well that lifts your whole mood. Whether it’s at the office, the opera, or Grandma’s house, you will feel better if you’re excited about your look. And that doesn’t mean wearing the boring shift dress that you always wear around family. You don’t have to go get a whole new outfit– just pick out something special that you love. That could be some great red heels or a sparkly headband. You could even just rock a bold lipstick or eye shadow. Don’t worry about overdressing. Let’s be honest– your mother won’t approve of anything you wear anyway.
*Warning: Some people think “dressing up” means “dressing like a hooker”. I’m all for mini skirts and push up bras, but not when you’re related to all the single men in the room.
2. Find a partner-in-crime
With people living far from their home towns and families splitting time between in-laws and divorced parents, I’m sure you have friends who have no where to go over the holidays. Why not drag them along so they can be part of your crazy family antics? One of two things will happen: You’ll be able to see your family through someone else’s eyes and you’ll realize they’re not that bad, or your family really IS that bad and now you have a witness.
If you don’t have a friend who can tag along, look around the room and find a family member who is equally traumatized by the event. It could be your 14 year old cousin or your great aunt who only pretends to be asleep so she doesn’t have to hold the ugly baby. You’ll get to bond with family AND make fun of the quirks that only relatives know about.
I probably should have led with this one because it’s my favorite. Some may call me a firebrand (or more often a shitstarter) but the idea is the same. Perhaps Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to mention your little brother’s spring break tattoo. Or you can rearrange the place cards so that Grandpa sits next to Uncle Steve’s boyfriend Kyle. Not only will this be entertaining, you’ll also redirect attention away from yourself so you won’t have to explain why you’re still single/when you’re going to get a real job/why you never called that nice boy the rabbi introduced you to.
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