How to: Deal with your family during the holidays

Four days. It’s the perfect amount of time to spend at home. You arrive, everyone is happy to see you, you make the rounds with your family and friends, and then make your way back. There isn’t enough time to argue about the plumbing problem and there certainly isn’t enough time for you to clean out that room of yours. With the holiday season in full swing there’s an added stress that comes with required quality family time. Here are some tips to help the invasion of personal privacy and forced togetherness seem like something to be thankful for:

1. Booze. Some liquid lubrication will make you more inclined to sit and talk about that horrifying eighth grade picture that was turned into and then used as an AIM icon by half the school. You have to be quite careful with family and liquor though — you don’t want to be telling family secrets and you certainly don’t want to be telling your secrets.

2. Bring something home that you’re proud of. Whether it’s a person or a paper, it’s something that will distract your family members from your presence.

a) If it’s a paper or some other sort of academic gain, let them read it and give their input. Some added insight will not only take up a good bit of conversation but it’ll bring you closer, which is actually kind of sweet, right?

b) If you’re bringing a person home, then this is a big step. It’s a step for your relationship and a step for your family. You have to be on top of your game here and control the conversation so that no one leaves in tears.

3. Bring some homework (watching “Mad Men” could be considered an academic pursuit). If the stress of your family gets to be too much, you can always say that you have to do some work for school and they’ll respect your privacy.

4. Spend some quality time with your pet. You could just have a quick chat and catch them up on what’s been going on in your life while you cuddle and nuzzle each other, or you could take the dog for a walk. It’s a nice way to get out of the house, though you run the risk of bumping into neighbors that you don’t want to talk to.

Most importantly, remember it’s only four days. You haven’t graduated and moved back in with your parents yet!

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