How to Deal with Your Family This Holiday Season

16 Dec

With winter break upon us, many of us will be back at home spending time with our families. To some of us, this sounds like a great chance to reunite with the people you love the most. However, to many of us, this is a nightmarish scenario that you have dreaded since you left for school. Have no worries, we here at Sherman Ave are ready to guide you through interactions with every family member this holiday season (And by “holiday season,” I really mean Christmas, because Hanukkah is over and there has yet to be sufficient proof that Kwanzaa exists).

Ugh. These assholes.


What to expect: You know he’s going to be an asshole from the get go. He will be asking questions about your grades before he says hello. That’s just his style. The trick here is not giving away that you regularly sleep until 1 pm and don’t go to most of your classes. If you keep the jig up, he might just keep paying for tuition.

Make sure to say: “It’s like a common Northwestern practice to drop two classes.”


What to expect: Mom will only be interested in the scandalous aspects of your college experience. It is important here that you do not tell her about the insane amount of drugs you have taken in three months. Your mom does not need to know what the effects of ketamine are. It is equally important to avoid any talk of your sex life. No matter how much of a prude your mom might be, she will always be disappointed that her lovely child is still a virgin.

Make sure to say:  “No, mom, I’ve never even heard of molly.”

Older brother

What to expect: Big brother is in a bad place. He just graduated and has no idea what he is going to do in life. He is depressed at the fact that you have the appearance of having your life together (Considering you go to the #12 National University according to US News and World Report). Your only job is to soothe your Big Bro’s feelings in order to balance out the constant passive aggression he is no doubt receiving from the rest of your family.

Make sure to say: “Hey man, don’t be ashamed, everyone gets a DUI.”

Little sister

What to expect: She thinks she’s hot shit because she finally hit puberty and guys like her now. Now she refuses to respect you because that’s the cool thing to do. Therefore, the game here is to look as cool as possible in order to regain the respect of younger sibling. Show her how to break into the liquor cabinet or how to sneak out of the house. For vanity reasons, I also recommend telling your kid sister that you’re going outside for a smoke when you are pacing around in the cold for seven minutes.

Make sure to say: “You ever hear of Neutral Milk Hotel? They’ll change your life.”

Grandma and Grandpa

What to expect: Gram and Gramps will always love you or they will always pretend to love you because then they feel like jerks for not loving you. Although they may be disappointed that you aren’t doing a Chemistry-Art History-Political Science triple major, don’t get sassy with them.

Make sure to say: “No, I’m not pre-med. Yes, I know I said I wanted to be a doctor when I was five, but that was when I was young and  naive. I just really want to follow in Zach Braff’s footsteps now.”

Uncle who recently came out

What to expect: You can be real with gay uncle. Tell him all the weird shit that has been going down because he will be able to give you wisdom that only a man who spent forty years pretending to be straight can give you.

Make sure to say: “I didn’t know I could drink that much Skol.”

Ex-wife of uncle who recently came out

What to expect: Nothing. Like who even invited her, seriously? Smile. That’s all.

Make sure to say: “Hi.”

Other aunts and uncles

What to expect: They are probably going to ask a lot of questions. Still, when they ask you how old you are, don’t get too annoyed because they have money and they feel guilty for not being a larger part of your life.

Make sure to say: “Yes, men and women can live on the same floor. This isn’t the 40s”

Hot cousin

What to expect: Awkwardness. Just keep reminding yourself that a kiss and dry humping on vacation seven years ago doesn’t count as incest.

Make sure to say: “How’ve you been?” “Cool!” “Yeah yeah me too.” “Ha ha!” “Yeah.” “I’m going to sit over there now.”

Second cousins

What to expect: I don’t really want to do this one because really who gives a shit.

Make sure to say: See above

Estranged family member

What to expect: This one is a wild card because you did not see this coming. Actually no one saw this coming. Be ready to catch him/her up on the last fourteen years of your life. When he/she says “The last I saw you, you were this big” don’t respond with “Yeah, the last time you saw me was when I was four of course I’m taller now, fuckin’ dipshit.”

Make sure to say: “So do you just like barbed wire or is that just an easy tattoo to get?”

One Response to “How to Deal with Your Family This Holiday Season”


  1. How to Have a Heinous Holiday Party | Sherman Ave - December 19, 2013

    […] and lots of alcohol. You wouldn’t want to hang out with your closest friends and family sober, now would […]

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