How to Survey the Holidays

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The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes headaches, dinner parties, gifts, and most importantly: the annoying in-laws and forgotten relatives that show up on your couch from thin air. To combat this, and every other little seizure inducing incident (that this wonderful time of year brings), keep these simple, yet effective, ideas in mind. 

1. From In-Laws to Outdoor Decorations

We all long for the holidays to come.  For most of us, this time of year means extra days off from work, family gatherings, good food and new stuff.  But for the rest of the population, it is a time for testing wits, patience and the ability to restrain your homicidal tendencies.

I mentioned the magical relatives that just appear on your couch. You know the ones; they expect to be waited on hand and foot, without as much as a thank you? These are the easiest and the first the thing we will knock off our list of annoyances and headaches.

Remember that these people are your family and federal law prohibits you from just outright killing them. So here is what you do: politely kick their feet off of your furniture and hand them a bunch of tangled Christmas lights. Tell them not to break one bulb and to have them hung properly by the next day. We all know it will not be done. So when the next day comes around, politely, yet forcefully kick their feet off your furniture again and wrap the Christmas lights around them.  Wrap them up tight enough so they cannot run away, but not so tight as to kill them. Have another family member help you move them to your front yard and plug them in. Now you have just killed two birds with one stone: decorating the front yard and removing the unwanted mooch from your couch. 

2. The Joy of Shopping from Home

The next headache on our list is gift shopping. We all know the drill: the overcrowded malls, the obvious holiday spirit in everyone that steals the last parking spot from you, and the crying children begging for the whole world. If those things do not induce a migraine then you are a better person than me. 
Once you are in the mall, finding the right gift for the right people is essential. What do you get Uncle Tommy who is a millionaire and owns everything? Or Aunt Sally who only wants organic ‘green’ items that cost more than your mortgage? The answer is simple: buy everyone the same thing: Stocks in any Chinese toy company. Although for this you will have to leave the mall, but who is complaining about that? This too will stop re-gifting, which, we once again, we have just killed two birds with one stone. 

3. Turkey, Ham or Both?

Speaking of killing birds, do you want to deal with turkey twice, or ham, or go for takeout this year? 
This problem has plagued me for years because of all of the picky eaters in my family. Finally, last year, I figured it out. They, (they meaning my husband, mother, six cousins, two aunts, my two brothers, a crazy uncle and a whole slew of unclaimed children), argued over what to have for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years dinner in my tiny apartment kitchen. Being one of the shortest people in the room, I was being ignored completely, everyone talking over my head, so I gave up and left. I was, and always will be, the one that is stuck with food duty. 

However, now, I do not care, so I quit! Problem solved. This year, I will refuse to cook anything, serve anything, or put any food away. I also vowed that by doing so, if they cook food I do not like, I will go to the nearest open Chinese carry out and get my own holiday dinner. 

So my advice to you is: Do the same. This will ease so much stress and heartache out of this wonderful holiday season, which your only regret will be not having done it sooner.

4. The Aftermath.

These tips have hopefully helped your holiday run smother than ever before, but what about after the holidays? What do you do when you have to deal with the lingering guests, leftover food, and that weird odor your Crazy Uncle left in the bathroom? We all know that January first is the day of the “Half-Dead”. On this day, nothing gets done. However, this is the day to make your move and end this suffering. I mean, the holiday season. 

First, before New Years is even a day away, go out and buy at least five air horns, one good quality bull horn, one awesome pair of earplugs for yourself, industrial strength cleaning supplies and enough bleach to make the city of New York blond. Be sure to hide them really well so no one uses them at the New Year’s celebration. Rise early on the first, which may mean turning down the final thirty-or-so cocktails you will be offered the night before, and retrieve your supplies. Be careful not to step in anything as you maneuver through your home and distribute the cleaning supplies to all of the unconscious persons strewn throughout. Remember, there maybe people you may not recognize, but give them a mop anyway. 

The next step is to start using the air horns, until everyone is moving. Once the movement begins, start barking commands like a psychopathic Drill Sergeant from the Marine Corps. This will ensure your home is not only clean without you really lifting a finger, but the unwanted persons in your house will readily leave after that. 

Congratulations on surviving a very educational month and a half just to start preparing for the next year!

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