Survival guide: Christmas dinner edition

Survival guide: Christmas dinner edition

With Christmas in just over two weeks, everyone’s excitement is gradually growing. We’re all excited to see our relatives, cuddle family pets and, well, eat and drink so much that we can’t even breathe. I’m definitely excited for all of that. Especially the latter. If you’re a student or unemployed on a tight budget, you’ll know that food is a slightly restricted luxury. Christmas is just the perfect time of the year. Or it would be… if it wasn’t for some awkward conversations some of us are going to have over dinner. Families are great and we all love them but sometimes, despite their greatest intentions, they can really get under our skin. So how do you go about not losing your temper at the table? Here’s my survival guide: Christmas dinner edition.

Survival guide: Christmas dinner edition

Come prepared

Family gatherings give us a chance to catch up with our relatives, some of whom we haven’t seen for a long time. Which means that many of them will want to ask you many many questions about your life. The best thing to do is prepare your answers beforehand. That way you will avoid feeling stressed about coming up with the best ‘excuse’ for why you don’t have children or how long you’re going to wait to get married right there and then. Think about all the possible questions your relatives could ask – and don’t limit your imagination, sometimes my granddad comes up with things to ask me, I’d never even think of myself. You don’t have to go into too much detail either. Just prepare answers satisfying enough and steer the conversation in a different direction as soon as possible.

Load up your plate and keep your glass filled

Food makes us happy. It also keeps your mouth full so it’s more difficult to talk. If someone tries to drag you into a conversation you don’t really want to be a part of (like explaining for the 100th time why you don’t eat meat) just put a piece of potato in your mouth and apologetically point at chewing face. Afterall, no one wants you to choke on food by talking with your mouth full. It can also spark many other conversations like ‘Nana, these potatoes are great! How did you make them?’ and there you have the next 30 minutes filled with a very descriptive recipe for roasted potatoes. Alcohol works as a great tranquillizer so if you really can’t take your uncle Bob’s extremely informative stories about his medical conditions, keep your glass filled. Always use this one in moderation though or you’ll end up spilling your life secrets in front of everyone.

Team up with someone

It’s easier to take on pestering questions when you have someone on your side. Recruit your sister/brother/cousin/parent or whoever you can think of who can understand your situation. You’ll have someone who will roll their eyes every time you start getting criticised by a family member and a person who can always get you out of a sticky situation by saying ‘Oh, I need a hand with opening this bottle of wine, can you come and give me a hand?’. Teaming up doesn’t mean you won’t be thrown a curveball by your family, but it does mean you’ll have a lot more laugh and at least one person on your side. And it’s always a nice feeling.

And finally… breathe

It’s your family we’re talking about. They never mean anything bad. They love you and they care about you. And yes, they can also annoy you like no one else, because they always know what’s better for you, but that’s just what families tend to do sometimes. So next time aunt Doris tells you that you should probably cut down on pizza or you’ll never find a husband, just take a deep breath, agree politely and volunteer to do the washing up right at that moment. Then get your aggression out by passionately scrubbing stuck pieces of food off the plates. By the time you’re back aunt Doris will be pestering someone else. Take situations like this with ease and calm. Trust me, I know it can be hard, just talking about it makes my blood boil a little. But as you breathe out your frustration, breathe in the Christmas spirit. Let it fill you with happiness and love.

Survival guide: Christmas dinner edition

It’s Chrismas – filled with love, happiness, laughter and family time. Don’t let one slightly-less-comfortable situation ruin all the mood.

Have a good Christmas everyone.

Until next time xx

How do you deal with awkward family dinner situations?

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36 thoughts on “Survival guide: Christmas dinner edition”

  1. These are really great tips, thank you for the post. I’m going to start typing up my list of excuses for why I don’t have kids now. After being married for two years, it’s inconceivable for others to accept that I still don’t have any. I also don’t drink, because it gives me headaches, and people take my non-alcohol consumption as a sign. I guess I’ll hold a drink in my hand anyway! Thank you for such an insightful post, and for letting me feeling I’m less alone!

    1. Oh I really hope you’ll have lovely Christmas this year! If everything fails, just remember to be you, you don’t have to explain everything to anyone! Paula from Thirteen Thoughts wrote a post called ‘My uterus, my business’, maybe give it a read as well!

    1. Definitely, do not be rude! Once you let you anger or any bad emotions take over, that’s the battle lost. Calm attitude and lots of food and drink is the best way to take it!

  2. Goodness yes! Ive never not had to deal with awkward and sometimes infuriating moments at family holiday gatherings. Usually with the in-laws. Okay, one member of Matt’s family really.
    There were some great suggestions in this, I may need to try them at our next big gathering!

  3. I have never read something so accurate and true in my entire life?! I love the whole, ‘keep your mouth full of food so you don’t have to talk’, because I hate family events with a passion.. 😂🤷🏼‍♀️

  4. I’ve never really had to many ackward things happen. Anytime things get a little weird we are pretty good at just laughing it off at the moment. 🙂

    Our family gatherings tend to be growing in some ways (we now have two different family gatherings) but shrinking in other ways (as my family ages).

    Hoping that this year will be great at both holiday gatherings. I’ll have to keep in mind all your tips as well.

  5. I spend Christmas with just my parents, siblings and grandma so I don’t really have this “problem” on Christmas but I always get asked so many questions at graduation parties etc. I need to save this post so I can read it again before the next event comes up which might be in January actually! Xx

    Anu | Based On blog | Bloglovin

  6. This is such a brilliant post – I normally get really anxious around Christmas day because it can all get a bit overwhelming and there is always that one relative who really gets on your nerves haha! Definitely use this guide on Christmas day, thank you lovely!x

    Francesca | 🌿

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  8. I love this post! It’s definitely relevant on so many levels. I feel this could work for any family get together. I don’t think I’ve experienced this much my family don’t ask any pushes questions. I think Christmas is going to be quite small this year, even though I live within an hour of all my family now!

    Gemma |

  9. Haha this is such a brilliant and relevant post, family are the worst and the best at the same time! Me and my brother have a sort of unspoken rule that we help each other out of sticky situations and questions but luckily we’re having a very small Christmas with very few people this year!
    Alive Xx

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