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Got To Get You Into My Strife

        Thanksgiving is over, folks. That means one thing. The holidays are here, and there's no stopping it. For some, this is a magical time filled with family, food, and causing Target's stock to rise. For others, it means having to actually spend time around your family, and being thankful that someone brought a bottle of wine. But fret not my friends, I am here with some helpful hints to make your holiday full of ho ho ho and not woe woe woe (See what I did there? Fork over the Pulitzer.) 

There's an inherent awkwardness built in with holiday gatherings. The sense of things going awry in the blink of an eye. This being an election year, you get that added into the proceedings. Members of your family either grumbling or gloating—depending on the breaks. I advise to just nod your head and leave these situations as quickly as possible, tell them you gotta go put on that big ole moose sweater. 

You might be involved in the food preparation, and if you are, then chances are very good you'll wind up in a hot kitchen with a bunch of elders—who enjoy gossiping about everything and anything. You just want to focus on making a great pecan pie, while all you hear in the background are children playing in the living room, and your mother and aunt discussing your failed relationships. This is a stress area, when you find yourself getting dangerously close to that tipping point. 

There are three ways to handle this situation. One, you can start screaming at everyone and recreate the ending of “Carrie”, however this means you'll be an evening news report. Secondly, you could just break down in the middle of the floor, crying, and grunting “Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!!” over and over. Third, you rock your stress out, outdoors, running, 80s montage style. I think we all know this is the best option. 

No matter how specific we were with our gift requests for the year, someone is gonna give you a gift that completely befuddles you. It might be clothing that, let's say your grandma, claims to be new, but looks like it's from 1982. It might be socks, underwear, or a gift card to Golden Corral. Whomever the gifter is, they bought this under the impression that it would make you, the giftee, full of all encompassing joy and happiness. 

There is no way out of this, and your reaction will be a dead give away immediately. You have to smile, just keep smiling, thank them for it. Hug them greatly when you leave, tell them how thoughtful it was of them. Then on the drive home, think of who you can pass it off to as a kind gesture. The holidays can be full of strife, pain, sorrow, drinking (hopefully without driving), but that doesn't mean that you can't traverse it with ease and simplicity. Just doing a few basic sense things will cause you to have a yuletide with as little stress as possible.


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