Sleep. One of the most legit ways to minimize the amount of time you must humor your family members during the holidays is to sleep a lot, or say that you’re sleeping a lot. Push your waking hours to as late as 11:30 a.m. (Thought Catalog recommends a slightly less severe 10:45 a.m. waking hour) and announce that you’re off to bed as early as 8:30 p.m. Push your sleep schedule to full-throttle by taking daily two-hour naps and one-hour baths. This sleep regimen will leave you spending — at most — five and a half hours a day with your family, which is about as much as you’d work at a part-time job. Not so bad?
Mobile devices. Angry Birds, Words With Friends, texting — mobile devices allow you to ease the pressure of your mom’s unrealistic expectations and the mounting misunderstandings between you and your dad as the result of the ever-widening generation gap apparent to both of you. Mobile devices are especially useful on family trips to the grocery store, during grocery shopping, and during Thanksgiving dinner.
“Work.” An effective way to gain both praise and the tacit permission to isolate yourself from your family during holiday get-togethers is to excuse yourself from activities by saying you have “work” to do. This is especially believable if you are a student. By using “work” as an excuse (in moderation), you will be immune from criticism and familial scorn. Family members will in fact think you’re hardworking, opportunistic, busy, important, and successful, and given the right conditions, actively encourage you to go into your room and get done what you need to get done. The unemployed can also use this strategy — phone interviews, resume writing, and freelancing can be legitimately passed off as “work” without question.
Alcohol. Family get-togethers with alcohol are often difficult for the millenial to understand because for some reason, no one at family get-togethers drinks to get drunk — they all just sip idly at their glasses. Disorienting and confusing, we know. Therefore, we suggest the popular adage of “moderation” when in family holiday situations, until you are allowed to retreat to your room for the night, where you should have, at the least, a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of red wine, a corkscrew, and your laptop computer. Here you can consume alcohol in excess, drowning away the day’s pent-up annoyance and frustration.