My family just loves the holidays.
Here at blenderclan-z, we admire displays of textbook intelligence over any kind of social prowess. We care more about targeted psychology and debates than cracking jokes.
We use Thanksgiving and Christmas as golden opportunities to pick each other’s brains, point out flaws, and start debates that end with both parties slinking back into the kitchen for more booze.
We want to hear some decent reasoning from a well-seasoned mind instead of the time my dog fell in the shower.
I mean, why would you care about a puppy swimming through a tiny lake of bubbles? Laughter is for the weak. Fun is for the myopic.
It’s a wonderfully designed group of people where the “something to prove” mentality meets the superiority complex, they try to have dinner, and then resort to a gauntlet war.
Our quarrelsome, judgmental tendencies haven’t lessened over the past few years. People have just learned self-control (and suddenly realized that puns and music diffuse fights).
So now we have a passive aggressive group of introverted hobbits smart enough to “enjoy” the holidays, but who secretly want to get back to their comfy dens, hobbies, and books.
It’s my favorite thing, really.
Never at any point did I think, oh for literal god’s sake can we stop pretending and just enjoy each other? Have fun?
Mostly because I had fun once. It was awful.
Then this Thanksgiving, something wild happened.
My family took a turn for the worst. Jokes slowly began pouring out with the free-flowing Caparzo and coffee. Nobody took the jibes seriously, it was all in good fun… and people began to relax.
We were grooving in the kitchen to jazz.
We were pouring wine and telling stories.
We were starting to like the people in our vicinity.
We were having fun.
It was god awful.
People stopped hating humanity and eyeing one another skeptically, and some genuinely warm, fuzzy holiday feelings crept in.
You know that cozy, lovely feeling of love and togetherness? Everyone you love is crammed into one home — talking, drinking, laughing — amidst a cackling fire and roasting ches —
It’s disgusting, I know. I despise that feeling more than the Grinch’s evil son despises Christmas (Dr. Seuss bah — what an optimist. He’s responsible for these terribly pointless ideas of fun ❤ ).
Anyway, if you’re still reading you obviously relate.
So here’s a few things you should learn from my horrible holiday and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
1. Stress Everyone Else Out
Trust me, it’ll be hilarious.
Over the holidays, my mother would always repaint the walls, re-decorate our first floor, and organize the entire house in typical tornado fashion.
This year, as usual, both the living and family rooms had plastic-wrapped furniture and painted walls wetter than post-shower hair… one day before Thanksgiving. One day.
Witnessing the transformation of a storage warehouse to a modern, magazine photo was highly entertaining. Stressing my mother out about details of the setup day of? Frosting on the cake.
Cooking dinner was also hilarious.
We had five people milling about in the kitchen, correcting and micro-managing each other like the studs of Queer Eye were arriving soon to interview the best chef for a Netflix deal.
That, overlaid by my mother’s voice talking at pace Bee Movie 1.5x speed, was enough to make anyone go mad.
Don’t succumb to the lie of teamwork. Add to the incurable pandemonium! A healthy dose of stress will make people work faster, which means the holiday will be over sooner.
Make that casserole at a snail’s pace. With too much salt.
2. Take Everything Personally
We have to be honest with ourselves here.
People have cruel intentions. We’re honestly a scum species not worthy of the beautiful environment that hosts us. Instead of being humble and grateful, we bring teenagers into the world.
People also break down, bully, and abuse each other for money and power, to the detriment of all human decency.
Save yourself the naive mistake of remaining calm, thinking the best about holiday guests, or finding the silver lining. Any attempt at kindness will get taken advantage of.
Attempting lighthearted conversation with other humans is just inviting ridicule. A vicious cycle of cynicism and passive hatred is the best option.
Plus, when you start finding humor in good, dirty jokes, you start developing healthy relationships and who wants those? That cheery, silver-lined cloud lurking nearby can go fuck itself.
Take everything personally.
Trust me, every word said at a holiday party is a sex life jab. Jab back and you might earn some respect.
3. Don’t Be Interested in Other People
People, as we all know, are terrible.
The worst thing you could possibly do at a holiday gathering is express interest in the tedious lives of your family.
Imagine how badly your crazy aunt wanted to ramble and pinch your cheeks from 500 miles away over the phone? Now she’s here for Thanksgiving. You two are in the same house. Walk on eggshells.
You must adopt the IRL equivalent of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and stealthily avoid any impression of genuine curiosity.
Don’t let any conversation skew in your direction and if you somehow become the center of attention, make a vague and cynical remark. Exude nothing but nonchalant indifference.
Only then, will you make it through a holiday alive.
There’s nothing to be gained from showing interest in other people’s lives… except for soul-mending laughter and connections that will make the next holiday even more special.
Which is ridiculous. People can be special when they’re dead.
4. Don’t, Under Any Circumstances, Have Fun
This should be obvious.
The notion of “fun” is either for the delightfully stupid, or the whining sentimentalists who somehow concluded that family values are more important than friends.
Having fun will also severely undermine your air of superior intelligence and convince the family of your mediocrity.
Family is for the mediocre.
Plus, we all know that everyone at holiday gatherings are only choosing to have fun out of sheer obligation.
Nobody’s hanging out because they’re fond of the people involved, or drinking because it relieves work stress. Nobody’s eating stuffed turkey and creamed onions because they love food, or it’s the best thing they’ve tasted since their girlfriend’s vagina.
Nobody is doing that and you shouldn’t either. And if you aren’t having fun, chances are they won’t either.
5. Leave As Early As Possible
Time to get out of there, am I right?
After a few hours of generating an amusing amount of stress, chaos, and pointless disputes, you’ll probably be exhausted.
One of the mistakes I consistently make is not leaving early. I stall so hard. I stick around, giving my devious parents a chance to show baby photos and request a recital of my musical talent.
Your family doesn’t need another riveting rendition of West Side Story tunes, or Hey Jude by The Beatles. It’ll just ignite the horrible feeling of love for all the folks singing with you.
You don’t need more coffee or food. Keep your mother’s attention on packing you bags of Thanksgiving leftovers instead of opening photo books, and don’t touch your childhood comics.
Especially Calvin and Hobbes.
Who wants to laze on the couch reading Watterson’s genius illustrations with their siblings anyway? Bonding over a masterful piece of art borders on fun and you were leaving.
Leaving early is the key to minimal interaction and embarrassment on a holiday. Keep it short and bitter.
To summarize my list: stress people out, take everything personally, be self-focused, serious, and leave early so you can live your own life. Careful about getting too bogged down in family, now.
You could, alternatively: remain calm, be lighthearted, take an interest in others, have fun, and stay late, but who wants to do that?
My family has already experienced the repercussions of this stupidity so that I could educate you all on what a proper holiday should look like. Now, get back to it. I’m sure you have work to do.
And if you see Jon, tell him I want more coffee.