Let us rejoice that this holiday season is nearly over! If you’re anything like me, you now live away from home but still make an appearance during the holidays only to find that your views now greatly differ from those of your family. This can often lead to those super fun arguments over turkey that result in spiking your punch with too much alcohol and excusing yourself from the dinner table early. In preparation for New Year Eve and the onslaught of reviews about the past year, let’s consider what you’ve survived just in this holiday season:
1. Questions regarding your relationship status. Are you dating anyone? Why aren’t they with you? If so, when do you think you’ll be popping out those babies? Sometimes these questions are easier to deal with then the sympathetic pats and being told that you’ll find someone eventually when people find out you’re single.
2. Slurs. Lots of them. Usually they are thrown around like adverbs.
3. Eye rolls. These probably follow your explanation that number two was inappropriate.
4. Being told to just accept their ignorant behaviour because you’re family members are from a different generation (Hint: this just means they’ve had more time to see the error of their ways).
5. Dodging questions regarding “undesirable” aspects of your life. This may include, but is not limited to: gender identity, sexuality, body modifications, political views, and religious beliefs.
6. Receiving exasperated sighs because you’re “over-reacting” yet again. Bonus points if you’re confused about how calmly telling your uncle that his joke about *insert racial group here* was inappropriate is considered an over-reaction.
7. The treatment of stereotypes as the truth. Yes, we get it, you’re disguising your lack of knowledge about certain topics by falling back on the old “stereotype as a punchline” routine. That doesn’t mean I’m going to laugh at the racist joke you just told.
8. Denial, denial, denial. Often followed by anger, because it’s much easier to get mad than it is to admit that you’re in the wrong.
9. A broad range of phobias and –isms. What’s a holiday meal without racism, sexism, homophobia being passed around like gifts?
10. Comments on your appearance. You’re too thin, too fat, and is that really how the kids are wearing their hair these days? If you weren’t self-conscious before the holidays you certainly are now.
Luckily 2015 is right around the corner, and we can take into consideration all the “constructive” criticism to heart and turn this New Year into a year of improvement! Or we can try to make this the year we made the minimal number of appearances at family functions.