Do you have a safe word for family holidays? A word that, if whispered or texted between you and your allies, means, “Meet me in the bathroom with pie, cuz shit just got real?” You’re not alone. Despite an abiding love and sense of loyalty towards your family, you know you don’t have much in common with some of your relatives, and sometimes these holidays get awkward.
It’s OK. They probably feel the same way.
You try to keep talking points limited to the weather and mutual favorite sports teams and away from anything too personal or controversial, but it always slips off the rails. Remember a few years ago, taking gravy shots while your aunts all talked with deep concern about your geriatric ovaries? It was agreed that your poor gals probably couldn’t cough out a decent egg now, even if you finally DID meet a good man. What about that time you drank way too much wine and passed out on the couch while your third cousin recounted the first 19 seasons of “Dr. Who?” (“HOLD UP, HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE ANGELS YET?"). Delightful.
It gets even more difficult when the sensitive topics of politics, religion, or civil rights are broached, since these elicit such big emotions. You might not want to get into it with people you only see twice a year. Also, you’re pledged to love these folks! That might be easier if you don’t know everything about how they view the world.
Oh, great. Grampy thinks we should bring back witch hunts because “they know what they did.” Fantastic.
So, what do you do to get through these holidays? You don’t want to be cynical, and you sincerely hope for the best — but this is not your first rodeo.
This year, instead of dreading the family get-together, make it a game!
Capitalize on these cringeworthy moments with Surviving Family Holiday Meals BINGO: 2017 Edition!
Make one unique to your own family’s quirks on BingoBaker or other online BINGO card making sites!
It’ll be fun! Distribute BINGO cards to all your friends! See who gets BINGO first from your respective family dinners! Whoever wins should get a really good prize. At the very least hugs and free drinks when you reconvene after the holidays, because winning this game is actually kind of losing, isn’t it?
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Be mindful that you don’t inadvertently influence the game too much. Keep mostly sober while you play so that you can be a keen observer instead of an instigator. For example, if you show up wearing a full body rainbow flag onesie, or an #ImwithKap T-shirt, that’s awesome, but…you might be intentionally tripping the game. Or, at Thanksgiving, if you refer to Christopher Columbus as an immigrant who could have used a wall, or casually mention your monthly contribution to Planned Parenthood over the green bean casserole, that might be cheating.
Also, you might be at risk of causing certain family members a coronary event, and you don’t want that. The Emergency Rooms are really busy around the holidays and the poor staff there does NOT need your whole family mess showing up at their doorstep.
Game on! Happy Holidays!
(If everything comes crashing down, despite all your preparation, there’s always pie in the bathroom and chunky gravy).