How to Enjoy a Meal With Relatives You Can't Stand

Julie Ryan Evans

family mealThe holiday season is upon us, and you can feel the anticipation in the air.

The food, the shopping, the parties, the family ... ACK, the family!

If yours has a couple of members that make you want to run and hide until the New Year, you're not alone.

I wouldn't know anything about it because all of my relatives (hi guys!) happen to be the loveliest, most amazing, non-annoying lot ever (let me know when you want my Christmas list) ... but so I've heard.

For some, the mere thought of surviving a meal with certain relatives can be enough to induce a severe case of indigestion.

But with just a few tricks in your pocket (make sure you wear something with pockets), you too can stomach -- and even perhaps enjoy -- a meal with your relatives, no matter how awful they may be.

Here are a few:

Gossipping Grandma Georgia -- She wants to dish and defame every family member she can and give you all sorts of insight about what's wrong with each and every one of them.

Solution: Pretend you have an ear infection and can't hear a word she's saying unless she speaks really LOUDLY.

Drunk Uncle Dan -- He's always drinking all your booze, slurring his way through dinner conversation and passed out after dessert.

Solution: Have some "special" bottles on hand for him -- ones you've diluted to decrease or eliminate the alcohol. He can keep drinking, but keep his composure.

Your Meddling Mother-in-Law -- She has a suggestion for the way you cook the turkey, an opinion on the way you talk to your children, and a demand for the way you set the table.

Solution: Let her have her way, tell her she's right, then go take a nap while she does it her way.

Your Bratty Nephew Bobby -- He's ill-mannered, ill-tempered, and usually ill for real with a snotty nose to match his snotty personality.

Solution: You're not going to change him, so just avoid him as much as possible. Think beyond the kids' table to an entire kids' room, perhaps a kids' house.

Nosy Aunt Nora -- She snoops through your medicine cabinet, looks through your mail, and even inspects your refrigerator with a little too much vigor.

Solution: Plant fake items for fun -- a letter about your bankruptcy, a prescription for Syphilis medication, some really moldy cheese ... anything that would shock her.

Boring Brother-in-Law Bart -- He drones on and on about his accounting firm and some strange species of lizard he wants to visit in Thailand.

Solution: Drink. Everyone is more interesting when you have a bit of a buzz.

Who are your most annoying relatives and how do you handle them?

Image via NealeA/Flickr


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