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How to Survive Your Family Holiday Parties

In order to appear like a decent human being, your favourite part of Christmas is supposed to be being surrounded by family. But for those of you who dread getting together with your family, you know it’s a lot harder than it seems to make small talk with people who you only see once or twice a year, and nearly impossible to pretend to tolerate that weird racist uncle. Luckily for you, I have managed to whip up a guide on how to get through the holidays with the eccentric collection of people known as your family.


Just kidding… but not really. No one will judge you for having a drink (ok that’s a lie, Great Aunt Mildred will probably make a comment). Having a drink to hold onto might help calm your nerves, and worst case scenario, you take a big gulp to stall for time when someone inevitably asks you an awkward question.


Without a doubt, you will be asked about your future at least 4 times, so try and come up with something to say in advance to make it slightly less awkward. Rehearse a mini script, whether you actually have a plan for the future, or you just want to mess with them a bit.

 “Yes, I do think I’ll be able to get a job with an Arts degree, thanks for asking”, “No I’m not currently seeing anyone romantically, but I am seeing my therapist on a regular basis, so I guess you could say it’s getting pretty serious”

Use the buddy system

Whether it’s a cool cousin or a grouchy grandma, find someone to stick with throughout the party. Maybe it’s someone you can gossip with all night, or use to hide behind, but it’s always good to have someone else around.

Don’t take it too seriously

Even if your family stresses you out, remember that they’re your family! It comes with the territory. It’s just a few hours of dressing up, eating a ton of food and fielding questions about the future, you can handle it!

Be nice

Your elderly relatives are probably really happy to see you, so just smile and be nice!


Feeling the pressure?  Put the attention on someone else.

“Yeah, schools going fine for me, but did you hear about cousin Wilbert’s new tattoo?!”

And when all else fails… beg your mum to go home

Madeleine Prentice

Wilfrid Laurier '19

Madeleine is a fourth-year double English and Medieval and Medievalism Studies major at Wilfrid Laurier. She spends the majority of her time rambling about makeup, memes, and medievalism. On an average night, you can find her snuggled up with her cats watching Netflix and browsing the latest trends on social media. 
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