Holiday stress is everywhere.
It’s not just Greater Jacksonville, even though it feels like it right now.
We stress out because we think we’re running out of time to finish, because we have houses full of people we didn’t know were so noisy and nasty, because we have unrealistic expectations about how joyful it is to go without sleep for a week living on coffee and festive, sugary Christmas goodies.
If only our relatives were easier to put up with at the holidays
Then we wouldn’t all be so stressed.
We must, however, play the hand our own so very carefully crafted holiday plans have dealt us.
So . . . here’s some holiday etiquette to smooth over the rough spots at those big family dinners and parties:
- Don’t walk into a relatives' houses empty-handed – no matter what they say, even if you just them yesterday. Store-bought cookies still in the box, a handmade card, bring something, bring anything.
- Avoid people who annoyed you last year. You won’t like them any better this year.
- It’s not too late to leave your date at home. Ever. Why would you do this to someone you care about?
- Don’t wait to be asked to help clear the table or rinse dishes. Especially if you did a vanishing act for Thanksgiving.
- Don’t let yourself get rooked into babysitting the drunks. But feel free to volunteer.
- Do not volunteer to mediate family disputes.
- Above all, don’t take sides.
- Wine and beer help take the edge off. Do volunteer to keep everybody else’s glasses full to the brim.
- Lay off the turkey, or you’ll fall asleep again and end up decorated like the Christmas tree.
- Do offer to hold the money for the football bets. Then stay one eggnog behind the drunks so you can laugh while you watch them count.
Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it clean.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org