Tips to survive holidays with the family

Holiday breaks are a big deal. You’re surrounded by your family, friends, basically everyone you’ve ever known, and they’re all dressed in various shades of red and green singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the top of their lungs. After a semester of stress, tears, screaming and various other fun student activities, all you want from winter break is to kick back and relax before doing it all again in January. But, if your family has anything to say about that, all they’ll want to do is get a rundown about every single moment of your life that you’ve experienced since the last time they saw you. So, here are some tips to avoid holiday stress:

Hide: Hit up Goodwill before you leave and stock up on camouflage, the more the better.  If they can’t see you, they can’t ask if you want to help them bake cookies, or wrap gifts, or grab “just a couple things from the store real quick.”

Avoid talking about politics: If anyone begins even straying into the realm of the political, begin yelling the lyrics to “Little Drummer Boy” as loudly as possible. They’ll be so distracted by your wonderful (or terrible) singing that they’ll completely forget whatever thing they were about to argue over. Bonus points if you can involve small children. Adults always seem to have a weakness to singing to small children.

Practice wrestling for your spot at the adult table: College students live in a weird limbo where they’re not quite adults, but they’re not kids either. So, to avoid being relegated to the kids table at family functions again this year, wrestle the next oldest person in your family. If you win, you’re bound to be allowed to sit with the adults while your defeated family member has to squeeze in with all the kiddos. Make sure to look on in triumphant glee.

Get a holiday job: Department stores are always hiring for the holiday rush, and they’ll need the help dealing with crazed last-minute holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift. Plus, you get paid, which might give you more having to deal with nosy shoppers rather than nosy relatives.

Pull a Grinch: Steal all the decorations, hide all the presents and pretend you don’t know where the Christmas ham went. If they can’t find them, they can’t celebrate anything, and you can rest. Just remember to lock any aspiring Cindy Lou Who’s in a closet before enacting your nefarious plans.

Drink: If worse comes to worst (and you’re 21+), there’s always alcohol. Find your relaxing break at the bottom of a mug of eggnog and bourbon and drink responsibly.

But really, while this is a time for you to relax, it’s also one of the few times a year in a student’s life where they can enjoy spending time with loved ones, and making memories that will last lifetimes. Remember to not completely abandon your family this winter break, they probably are glad to see you after all.