It’s Christmas and You Need a Break from the Fam

It’s Christmas, and here we all are, gathered among the people we love but also maybe the people that if we weren’t related to, we’d think, “Ah, they’re nice but we don’t have a whole lot in common.” And it’s fine! Really. We will all survive because this is a non-problem unless you have a family member who is actually Krampus, and if that’s the case you’ve got bigger fish to fry than reading this article, I’ll be honest.

So yes, the fam-jam. The whole gang. You’re eating, you’re drinking, maybe you’re exchanging presents, and you are 100% probably thinking — at some point — “I need a little break right now.”

And breaks are great! They’re fine, provided they look nothing like whatever it is Ross and Rachel went through back in that one season of Friends. But it can also be hard to look your family straight in the face and say, “I need five minutes away from you animals.” So if you can’t say it, I will. Here’s how to take a break:

“I’ll be right back”
Straightforward and to the point. Then go sleep in your car.

“I’m going to go sleep in the car.”
They won’t believe you, therefore giving you more time to sleep in the car.

“I have to go to the bathroom.”
If they ask you anything to follow that statement up with, they are sociopaths. Escape through the window and call the police.

“I’ll go get it!”
I have no idea what “it” is in this scenario, but is it meat?  Is it bread? Is it something from the car? From Shoppers? From the ATM? From McDonalds? Who cares. You will go get it. It is your job now. You’ll be back in three hours.

One Christmas, we all realized none of us had seen my cousin in about 45 minutes. Then we walked downstairs and found him sleeping on the couch. And because we were all, “Aww . . . he must be so tired!” (read: great people) we didn’t wake him. So ultimately, he slept for two hours and at one point we all took selfies with him so he’d know we weren’t that stupid. But he didn’t care. He got to sleep for two hours while I ate too much pulled park and made myself sick.

“I feel sick.”
No one wants to know what that means. Especially if you accompany it by sitting alone in a room away from everybody else. Sick people are the worst during the holidays, and we will all avoid you if you allude to illness. Honestly, I could unconditionally love you and then decide that we should 100% not speak until I can guarantee you have nothing that involves vomiting. This is foolproof. But use it once and only once, or you will be deemed “always sick” and/or a person I know is lying, so stop it just stop it.

“I’m tired.”
The phrase no one knows how to respond to. This means that when you stand up to leave, people will cheer. You will be free. But also: you are a buzzkill.

Weigh the risks. And also, happy holidays.

Tags: Anne T. Donahue

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