Cringe-worthy Christmas

By Amanda Miller and Joy Holden

 

Children opening gifts and responding with less than appreciative responses: Yikes. Answering grandma’s questions about your new job (or lack thereof) for what feels like hours at the dinner table: Check, please? Asking that one aunt who you see once a year if she will move her car so you can safely maneuver yours to the road: Blegh. Safely making it home for calm and comfort: Victory!

Let’s face it. The holiday season brings forth a lot of cheer, but it also brings with it a lot of awkward moments that unfortunately are bound to happen. And while we can’t always stop these awkward occurrences from happening, we can do our best to avoid them so everyone can be merry and bright this holiday. So, take these helpful tips with you this year to avoid a cringe-worthy Christmas experience.

 

Awkward moment

Intrusive questioning

How to get through it

Be prepared! Prepare a few answers to these anticipated questions. Offer a summary of how life is going early on in the day from your point of view. Own your story. Don’t wait until someone asks and embarrassment creeps over your face.

 

Awkward moment

Odd conversation with relative you see only once a year

How to get through it

Keep in touch with this certain relative throughout the year. This is where the beauty of Facebook comes into play. If you don’t have them added, add them! This will give the two of you something to talk about when you come face to face because you will know what she has been doing. The awkward question of asking her to move her car later won’t be so awkward anymore.

 

Awkward moment

Family blowup over politics

How to get through it

Avoid any conversation about it! If you hear the words “president,” “election,” or “emails,” walk away and go find some fun kids to hang out with.

 

Awkward moment

The surprising “big reveal”

How to get through it

Some family members may wait until the entire family has gathered to reveal exciting news. Maybe they’re expecting or getting married and it is a bit of a shock. Be supportive! They’re excited about their news and probably stressed about the family response the entire drive over.

 

Awkward moment

Guests who have had too much to drink

How to get through it

While we are sure the egg nog is fantastic, don’t be that person. And if you see someone drinking too much: avoid, avoid, avoid. That’s one conversation that can surely wait.

 

Awkward moment

Receiving undergarments as a gift

How to get through it

Just like you expertly tackled the situation with your children when they didn’t like a gift, you can do it for yourself as well. Yes, it is going to be awkward. Yes, this still happens. And yes, they may question you on if they got the correct size. All you can really do is smile, say how thoughtful and great the gift is, and move on as quickly as possible.

 

Awkward moment

Unexpected guests

How to get through it

Plan ahead! Have extra spots (and plates) at the ready just in case a family member pops in with an extra guest.

 

Awkward moment

Getting a gift from someone you didn’t get a gift for

How to get through it

Bring two or three backup gift cards with you to your Christmas gathering just in case. Have one ready for that thoughtful person that may have slipped your mind.

 

Awkward moment

Children responding with disgust to gifts

How to get through it

Practice with them beforehand on positive responses to opening gifts. Comment on the color if it is their favorite color, the thoughtfulness of the gift, or how cool the gift may be. Help them to find positive things to say, even if they already have the gift at home.

 

Awkward moment

Overstimulated children

How to get through it

It is Christmas, after all, so cut them some slack and cut off the sugar. Send them outside and get them into some Christmas games. When it is time to open presents, play the quiet game while passing out gifts.

 

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a few awkward moments along the way. However, no matter how many you may experience, remember to enjoy this special time with your loved ones. We’ve had a busy and tough year, and these awkward moments may be just the laugh we need. ■

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30 Nov 2016


By Amanda Miller and Joy Holden
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