How to survive the holidays with your loved ones

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Are you often subjected to a boring variety of family gatherings over the holiday season? Whether you’re the oldest cousin or youngest grandchild, we have a guide for keeping you sane and entertained this merry season. Just make sure that you pretend to seem interested in the festivities while you let your mind wander.

Set up plans 

If you want to make your appearance at the next family gathering as brief as possible, be sure to set up before and after plans. No one will say you have to stay for another lunch serving if you’ve got to run to a friend’s Christmas party. If you’re afraid the fam won’t excuse leaving the festivities to hang with friends, say you have to finish that extension on your last paper — wink, wink. Just make sure that if you plan to stretch the truth a little, you thoroughly think out your plan ahead of time!

Bring a board game

There’s nothing worse than sitting around a family member’s home staring at the wall for hours. Spice up your next family extravaganza by bringing a board or card game for the whole family to play! It will cut down on having to overhear the latest family gossip, and may also help keep the peace among relatives. Just make sure to leave out Monopoly — the competition always gets too heated! 

Learn a portable hobby  

If you’re sitting in the living room with nothing to do, bring an activity like origami! You can fold away, making little presents for the entire family. Plus, it’s a neat skill to learn. If you have a rare fear of paper, look for an alternative such as knitting or friendship bracelets. Anything portable and creative that can distract you from inherent boredom should do the trick! 

Take a book to read for fun 

The thought of reading anything for pleasure during the school year may feel nearly impossible. After letting your mind rest from finals, however, a light, easy fiction book might be just the thing your brain needs. You can journey to a foreign land or imagine a budding vacation romance, all while hiding from your relatives. It’s like you’re not even there! Plus, if you need to take a break and do a bit of socializing, you can just mark the page and head back to dreamland in no time.

Get in touch with your culinary side 

You may have zero experience with baking, but hey, how hard can a batch of cookies be? Inform your family you’ll be baking for them this holiday season and get busy in the kitchen. It will keep you entertained and if you focus on something simple, no one will be offended if your cookies taste like cardboard. They’ll probably still commend you for trying. So, ignore the family photo shoot in front of the tree and get baking! 

Offer to help with anything and everything 

If you want to stay distracted, but don’t feel like being nailed down to a specific plan, offer to help with something! It’s incredible how quickly the time will fly by if you’re busy running around doing simple tasks. That’s right — if the dishes need to be done, you’re on it! The baby needs to be checked on … done! Last-minute present wrapped, you’ve got it! You may get a bit tired, but the day will fly by. Plus, your family will think you’re the greatest!

These are just a few tips to stay sane with your family this holiday season. Don’t forget to enjoy the lovely festivities and the break from academia! You’ll be back to the grind in no time.

Contact Summer Kailani at [email protected].