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Family + Holidays = ?

Did you ever have to take one of those holiday family pictures? You know the one I mean with the goofy fake back-drops, matching sweaters, and everyone in order by height? I don't know how they did it, but Olan Mills seemed to always capture the most awkward second between "we're one big happy family" and "please don't make me do this." Family is great. The holidays are great. But unlike peanut butter and chocolate, two great tastes that taste great together, Christmas and family together in one emotionally-charged, overly-decorated living room can sometimes be a recipe for disaster.

Here is what you can do to survive it all...

Keep your focus! In and out -- eat, be nice, keep it moving. Know your hot buttons and move away when someone starts to push them. When you need a break, take one. I don't smoke but I take smoke breaks with the best of them -- a 5 minute walk to "get something out of the car" (wink, wink) can help me clear my mind and refocus. Remember, all you have to do is be pleasant.

Don't take it personally! The truth is everybody is feeling the stress, dealing with their own anxiety, and maybe even tending some pretty serious, close to the surface wounds. Try having a little compassion and give everybody a break, including yourself. Remember, tis the season for random acts of forgiveness and kindness.

Just get back home! Visiting family is not the same as moving in! You do not have to follow the script that has been written for you or be that person everyone says you are when you go home. You are not a child anymore. You are you and your life is waiting for you on the other side of this gathering. Remember, you get to come back to your life!

Make good family! You should absolutely surround yourself with people who you can do life with -- people who "get" you and support you for being you. Remember that, sometimes, the family we make can be better for us than the family we're born with.

Find the Humor in it! Please tell me that didn't just happen? Did she just say that out loud? Sometimes it is as bad as it seems! And, when things start going insanely bad, I can't help but laugh. Remember, laughing burns calories so have a sense of humor and that second piece of pecan pie.

Still need a little holiday "therapy" to get you through? Try one of these snarky, good-humored resources from our collection!


Awkward Family Photos by Mike Bender
Amazon Says: Based on the hit website, AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com (“painful, regrettable, horrifyingly awesome snaps of family bonding, you will laugh so hard that people in adjoining offic more...
Amazon Says: Based on the hit website, AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com (“painful, regrettable, horrifyingly awesome snaps of family bonding, you will laugh so hard that people in adjoining offices will ask what’s wrong with you”—Esquire), this full color book features never-before-seen photos and hilarious personal stories covering everything from uncomfortable moments with relatives, teen angst, sibling rivalry, and family vacations from hell. Cringe at the forced poses, bad hair, and matching outfits--all prompting us to look at our own families and celebrate the fact that we're not alone. Nothing says awkward better than an uncomfortable family photograph! less...
Amazon

Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
Amazon Says: Holidays on Ice collects six of David Sedaris's most profound Christmas stories into one slender volume perfect for use as a last-minute coaster or ice scraper. This drinking more...
Amazon Says: Holidays on Ice collects six of David Sedaris's most profound Christmas stories into one slender volume perfect for use as a last-minute coaster or ice scraper. This drinking man's companion can be enjoyed by the warmth of a raging fire, the glow of a brilliantly decorated tree, or even in the backseat of a van or police car. It should be read with your eyes, felt with your heart, and heard only when spoken to. It should, in short, behave much like a book. And, oh, what a book it is! less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: You’ve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-footstuffed Santa? You’ve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own g more...
Amazon Says: You’ve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-footstuffed Santa? You’ve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You’ve woken up with a hangover…but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Looking to add a little bitterness to your holiday season? Then FESTIVUS is the book you cannot do without! Take Frosty out behind the woodshed and hide your menorahs, kinaras more...
Amazon Says: Looking to add a little bitterness to your holiday season? Then FESTIVUS is the book you cannot do without! Take Frosty out behind the woodshed and hide your menorahs, kinaras, diyas and whatevahs...the time has come for Festivus! The event celebrated by Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) on Seinfeld, in which a bare aluminum pole replaces all holiday and religious symbols, where participants compete in "feats of strength" and undertake the "airing of grievances," has transcended television to become a worldwide phenomenon. In this side-splitting romp through the Festivus landscape, Allen Salkin meets Miss Festivus, tastes Festivus beer, and ponders the Festivus snail (along with Festy the cat), showing how anyone with a little creativity-and a dash of Costanza-can celebrate a Happy Festivus! less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Ho, ho, huh?Who’s that excessively jolly fellow with the fake beard, shifty eyes, sweaty hands, and boozy breath? Why, it’s not just Santa but sketchy Santa! Yes, ’tis t more...
Amazon Says: Ho, ho, huh?Who’s that excessively jolly fellow with the fake beard, shifty eyes, sweaty hands, and boozy breath? Why, it’s not just Santa but sketchy Santa! Yes, ’tis the season for awkward photos of small children posed precariously on the laps of some of the most clownish, irritable, and just plain weird-looking Santa wannabes—guys you’d give a wide berth to if you passed them on the street.Inside this painfully hilarious collection of holiday photos, you’ll discover the pop culture history of the sketchy Santa, and how to identify sketchy Santas in shopping malls everywhere . . . making this the perfect gift for anyone who understands that "He sees you when you’re sleeping" is a deeply disturbing thought. less...
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