Going home for Christmas is always a big deal, and there are a few things that make me crazy.
As an independent person living on my own, I can’t help but feel transported to a different era in my life whenever I go home for the holidays.
It’s such a long way, and my parents refuse to treat me like an adult whenever I go home.
They insist on giving me a curfew, and I'm not allowed to drink or go out any night.
Yes, I know the holidays are meant to be spent with family, but we all know one of the greatest reasons to go back home is to see your friends.
We all feel like we haven’t seen them in forever, and it never hurts when you’re pretty much one of the only ones who finally made it out of her parents' home before she was married.
I don’t know if it’s a celebration that I’m single and living on my own, while they’re all living with their parents and with boyfriends.
But, I do feel I’m accomplishing something.
I’ve been out of my house for about three years now, and the fact I wasn't murdered the first year I left home and was only robbed once seems like a big deal for me.
No one tells me I have to be home by 2 am, and no one tells me I cannot drink wine after work and watch "Sex and the City" until the sun comes up.
I answer to myself, so why is it so hard for my parents to understand that?
It’s really confusing, but I have discovered ways to deal with the parental situation over the holidays.
1. Small Amounts Of Alcohol Throughout The Day
Yes, I am a drinker.
Whenever I go home, my mom insists I shouldn’t drink because of the calories or the possibility I'll insult the family.
But, I discovered she doesn’t really mind if I drink wine.
Why? I have no idea.
But instead of sipping on my regular gin and tonic or dirty martini, I’ll sip my wine.
It's not enough to get me drunk, but it's enough to make every ridiculous holiday situation seem like something I can actually handle.
Just keep a slight buzz, and you’ll be fine.
You’ll laugh at your uncle's creepy jokes, you’ll let your mom’s criticizing comments slide and you won’t be overwhelmed by all the craziness.
2. Saying Yes
Sometimes, our family asks us to do things we don’t really want to do.
You're told to drive your cousin to the store, to go fetch whatever ridiculous thing on the other side of town or to just simply sit and play Scrabble.
Say yes to all of it, and they’ll be so pleased and happy.
You’ll be the best daughter in the world because you’re helping out.
And when you announce you’re leaving to have drinks with friends, it's more likely no one will get mad because you’ve been helping the family all day.
3. Wearing The Ridiculous Sweater
We all have that family member who likes to give us funky socks we’ll never wear and ugly sweaters that make us look like snowmen.
Just put on the sweater.
And since you’ll have a slight buzz after following step number one, you won’t even care.
Take pictures wearing it.
Besides, no one will ever see them because you’ll bury them so deep in hell, no one will ever find them.
Make everyone happy, and that way, they won’t come down too hard on you.
4. The Single Situation
It’s customary for family members to ask you when you'll get a boyfriend or when you'll get married.
For those of us who are single, we’re tired of hearing that question.
We don’t know if Mr. Right will come, and we don’t know if we’ll ever find "the one."
I found that if I smile and say I’m working on it (instead of telling them a sad story about how much I miss my ex and how dating is a total nightmare), they’ll back off for a while.
They’ll be happy to hear you’re happy because in the end, that's all they really want to hear.
5. Playing With The Little Ones
In order to avoid more uncomfortable questions, it’s best if you play games with the kids in the family.
The rest of the family will think you’ll be a good mother one day (even if it’s not in your plans), and your brain will get to rest.
There’s something so comforting about talking to an 8-year-old about life.
Trust me; you’ll learn a thing or two.
6. Reading And Writing
For me, reading and writing has always been a way out.
When your family members see you doing this, they’ll think you’re super smart, even if you’re just reading "Twilight" and writing a to-do list.
They will leave you alone for a while because if you’re reading or staring at your computer and typing, they’ll assume it’s work or something important for school.
Holidays with family are always crazy.
There’s drama, yelling and sometimes even crying.
But, the main thing is you have to actually be there.
Be present, and try to enjoy your family because they’re all you really have.
Even if you hate them sometimes and can’t understand a word they’re saying, they’re all you have.
So these holidays, try to be smart about what you do.
Instead of fighting them over nothing, be nice.
This way, you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do with your nights.