“Home is where the heart is.”
“Don’t spend more than you can afford.”
Advice that has been handed down for generations and stood the test of time are the result of a combination of common sense, downhome know-how and a cycle of emotional abuse that perpetuates the strict demands of those relatives long dead.
Holiday advice is, in many aspects, a tradition. And, for much the same reason that certain decorations are dusted off every year, despite their cracking, bending and being covered in black mold, tradition is one of the hallmarks of the holidays. (Fun fact: It is also one of the hallmarks of Hallmark!)
With tradition comes unspoken (but occasionally yelled) rules that are drilled into your young psyche, put through the ringer of dysfunctional family gatherings and, for a large investment, can be purged and unlearned through years of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
As you ready yourself for a day of overeating, passive aggressive conversations and the opening of presents and old wounds, my egg nog-addled brain has put together tips that I believe will make this holiday season a win for you and a heartwarming* memory for your family (but, then again, I believe our cat understands everything I say).
*By heartwarming, I mean in the emotional, full of good will sense and not in the defibrillator set to maximum sense.
HOLIDAY TIPS FOR WOMEN
1. Not everyone in your family appreciates candles and bath oils as Christmas gifts
2. Your brother isn’t as bad a person as you remember, but your sister is even worse of a person than you remember
3. Christmas with the family is not the best place to unveil your new implants
4. Despite the three hours you spent getting ready, your mother will still say, “You could be so pretty, if you just made a little effort.”
5. Flirting at holiday parties can be fun
6. Flirting at your family’s Christmas dinner is inappropriate
7. When your toddler (you know, the one with the biting problem) gets knocked into a wall by the dog, everyone else will be quietly laughing
HOLIDAY TIPS FOR MEN
1. “Xmas” is not referring to the soft-core version of “XXXmas“
2. Your 88-year old grandmother may be nodding as you enthusiastically recount The Hobbit, but she’s actually thinking, “God, they raised a 34- year old idiot.”
3. Your mouthing of elaborate drum beats is not causing anyone to think, “Hey, that kid’s got talent!”
4. When your aunt asks how your girlfriend is, she’s not referring to ‘in bed’
5. When your uncle asks how your girlfriend is, he is referring to ‘in bed’ (NOTE: your uncle is creepy)
6. Nobody, except your 2-year old nephew, believes that the bong you unpacked is a skull-shaped jelly bean holder
7. This still won’t be the year that your parents finally fulfill your childhood wish of getting a Millennium Falcon for Christmas
Here is hoping that everyone has a happy holidays and everyone gets some good gifts. Me, I’m sure to get socks. I don’t need more socks, mom! Unless that box of socks is hiding a Millennium Falcon, I just can’t pretend to get too excited!… Oh really?…. Really?… Well, go spend Christmas with Trudy and her stupid son, Mr. Perfect Blogger… Fine. And give him this while you’re at it… No, it’s not my ring finger. God, you don’t pay any attention to me!… I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!