03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Turkey Wars: Tips for Surviving the Holidays


Yes, it's that time of year again when we're forced to sit around a turkey and then later a tree or a menorah (or both in my case) and field
questions like, "When are you going to put that law degree to good
use?" or ponder the delightful accusation "How come we never see
each other?" As the daughter of a critical narcissist (Daddy Dearest) and a
good-natured enabler (Mommy!), I learned a valuable lesson that harpy plus happy is often a copacetic combo. Inspired by recent conversation on how to survive Thanksgiving this
year -- during which a friend lamented, "No, you really don't understand.
There is no equivalent to my mom." -- I came up with seven tips
in an effort to help his (and your) holiday season not completely suck this year:


1. New Mindset: Love Is A Battlefield- Clear the decks. Forget the past. You need to start with the
attitude of a gamer. You're about to encounter an obstacle course. You
are going to be a freaking victor.

2. Gameplan: BFFs v WTFs - Do a guest analysis and identify
the players. Who are your Allies? Who are the Offensives? Identify a
trusted co-pilot. Come up with subtle SOS signals when either of you
need to be bailed out.

3. Distract-ics: Look Over There! - You can't always
avoid an Offensive especially when that person is your parent. Research topics they are interested in and bring
them up as
soon as the conversation takes a turn you don't like. "Hey, how about
that Sarah Palin?" If that doesn't work, toss a large shiny object into
the middle of the table and head for your car.

4. The Vanishing -
Uncle Willard get your goat? Well, stay out of his orbit and limit your
interaction to a pleasant wave from across the room. When he comes
towards you, compliment him on his weight and excuse yourself to
refresh your drink. Hide in the coat closet for 20 minutes.

5. Pretend To Take Feedback-
When your relatives start doling out the advice on your job, or your child
rearing skills, say
without a hint of sarcasm, "Hmm, interesting... definitely something to
think about" then retire to the
kitchen and find the bottom of a jug of tequila.

6. Pass Interference -
Your co-pilot is cornered by a close talking Offensive. Jump in and ask the Offensive something personal, then follow up with the question, "Really, how so?" until he burns himself out. Warning: you might have to repeat this phrase a couple hundred times to get the job done.

7. Kitchen & Kids - If the action gets too hot, take it upon yourself
to help the hosts -- ideally with an involved, time consuming task
like sorting the compost or being the heroic entertainer of kids. You'll get the double benefit of being the MVG while ironically MIA.

Note to my in-laws: I count you both as my #1 Allies...always. Note to my parents: How about that Sarah Palin? Really, how so?
I could end this post on a sentimental note with a, "Hey, let's all be grateful for everything we have" but I'm assuming we all start from this position and yet still manage to get irritated as hell as the holiday season wears on.

If you have any survival tactics, I'd love to hear them, as well any hilarious offensives overheard during your holidays. Tweet them using #ohholidays @splendorahq. Here's a tequila shot to another wonderful holiday season and if you need some fascinating tidbits for your distract-ics, try my Gina's 5 Things on Splendora Style & Culture Radar. Love to you and yours this holiday season.

Your Ally,