Sarcastically Southern advice column is written anonymously by a woman in Bulloch County. To submit a question, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @SarcasticallyS5, and on Facebook, Sarcastically Southern.
Ahhh... the holidays. The holly jolly attitudes, the wonderful time sent with family, the thoughtful and meaningful gifts we receive...there's nothing like it. And if you rolled your eyes while reading that, you know I'm telling the truth — there is NOTHING like it, because every holiday season, ultimately something goes awry or someone shows their @$$ at Grandma's. Here are a few tips to survive the holidays.
You don't have to go to every single holiday gathering you're invited to. Just because your uncle's best friend's sister is throwing her annual drunk-fest — I mean oyster roast — right in the midst of the holiday season, doesn't mean you have to attend. Everyone is busy between Oct. 31 and Jan. 2 and most people (or anyone with some decency) will understand if you need to spend some time Christmas shopping, with your family or even sleeping!
Try to be civil
Families fight. Aunts act like they are the family queen and brothers-in-law burp and fart and sit on the couch like slobs. There's nothing you can do to change it (Unless you want to show up on an episode of "Snapped"). But Grandma wants you all together under one roof as a big, happy family. How do you handle that? It's not always easy, but one way to avoid conflict is to fake being sick. I'm kidding!
The best way to survive a big family dinner is to avoid the person who annoys you — I’m not talking about ignoring them or locking yourself in the bathroom, but engage other family members, keep yourself occupied with the kids in the family, try to stay in another room away from that person. But most importantly, don't let that person get to you — this is your holiday too and you deserve to have a good time, don't give someone else the power to ruin it for you! In the event that you just can't stand one more second around them, excuse yourself early!
Money spent does not equal a quality gift
Don't go broke to buy gifts. People want your company — and those who want just a gift don't deserve to be in your life. Buy thoughtful gifts, meaningful gifts, and no matter what the cost of them, they will be appreciated. At the same time, if you know someone wants something you can't afford, don't worry about buying that for them. If you can afford a $20 gift, give them a gift card to wherever they can buy that item and let them know you're giving them something towards their goal.
Gift experiences — movie dates with friends, restaurant gift cards for a couple in your life. Things that they might not do for themselves!
Some folks will pay loads of money for handcrafted items, so why wouldn’t they want them as a gift? Most people will overlook small imperfections because they are happy to receive something that you poured your talent and time into. However, some handcrafted gifts are different than handmade gifts. I’m sure your Mom will love that painted sign you made her for the living room, but if you’re over the age of 10, I don’t think that macaroni art will suffice.
Decorations—when is it too much?
When it comes to decoration, I say to each his own. Some folks might love the Grinch and want to decorate with that theme in mind. Some people love buffalo plaid (myself included) and some people love gaudy, shiny, over-the-top décor. If someone wants to over-decorate, remind yourself that you’re not the one that has to pack all that s*** back up and store it, so is it really any of your business?
That being said, of course I have an opinion on what is too much… if you’ve got 1,000 ceramic Santas lining the fireplace of your home or 17 trees that you have to constantly fight to keep your cat out of, you might want to reevaluate your décor.
The holidays boil down to one simple thing — you do your thing. If you want to attend eight billion holiday events, do it. Don’t want to deal with Cousin Sally’s 15 heathen kids at Great-Grandma’s 15th annual white trash Christmas? Stay away from the young-uns. Want to decorate using ceramic candy ornaments? Go right ahead. The biggest don’t for the holidays? Don’t let anyone ruin your holidays!