Survival Guide for the Holidays

By: Nicole Braterman

While walking through town passing by the local Starbucks, we breathe in the smell of Pumpkin Spice Latte. A little farther down the street, the smell of cinnamon fills the air. Snowflake lights are up around town and Christmas decorations start appearing in the shop owners window fronts. Clearly, the holidays are approaching. While this is a joyful season for many, as it is the time we increasingly spend with our family, it is not always that joyful for some. Since not all families are as awesome as mine, here are some useful tips to help with stressful family situations and gatherings this holiday season.

Do NOT binge watch mushy holiday movies and if you do, do not set your expectations based on said films; instead set a low bar so you will not be disappointed.

Make sure to be extra chatty and nice (especially to grandparents) to ensure you receive a few nice gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah.

If you are of driving age, drive yourself to the family celebration so when your great aunt asks you for the 20th time where you’re going to college, you can make your exit quickly.

On Thanksgiving, try and eat as much turkey, or at least load up your plate, so you can use being “tired” as an excuse to leave.

Plan a secret key word to text a friend to signal them to call you to get out of any awkward or unenjoyable conversation.

Become a fan of one of the football teams playing during the family gathering so you can be “too focused” on the game, allowing you to avoid unnecessary socializing.

Make sure you scout ahead and get the layout of the dining table so when dinner is served you know where to sit to ensure you aren’t next to a loud chewer, an over-perfumed grandmother, or your annoying nose-picking little cousin. Choose wisely.

Going off of number 7, make sure to not sit near the kitchen so when the hosts asks to help bring food in and out you are not the one chosen.

No politics at the table; self explanatory.

Lastly, take solace in knowing there are families much crazier and louder than yours.

Editor’s Note: We’re happy each month to publish an article written by a student from the Westfield High School Journalism Department. WHS features an important legacy of fostering strong journalism and features a 100-year old newspaper, Hi’s Eye, as well as award-winning magazine, The Optic, and a widely-popular digital publication.

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