Ask Nathaniel with Nathaniel Christopher

How to survive your holidays

Nathaniel Christopher Arthur [Peterborough, Ont.] Volume Issue 12 (Vol. 38)

I hate my family gatherings, and I particularly dread Christmas. My uncle is an alcoholic, my aunt is psychotic aunt, and my grandmother is oblivious to the fact that the British Empire is no longer existent. What can I do?

Whatever your family’s trip, there are ways to cope with them.

The first and most obvious option is reach for the booze! There is no other time of year where alcohol is so readily available and socially acceptable. However, I would not recommend this option because the last place you want to make a drunken ass of yourself is at Christmas – everyone seems to have cameras at Christmastime and someone is bound to make a visual record of your tomfoolery.

You could go outside and smoke a joint – it’s almost legal now! It’s a good way to calm your nerves and feel better. However the smell of “Otto’s jacket” might raise a few eyebrows around the Christmas table.

Another option is to avoid Christmas altogether. Just live your life normally and when Christmas day comes around you just treat it like another day. Don’t bother with the family or dinner with friends – just stay home and relax! Most stores are closed on Christmas; it’s very much like a Sunday. The day has a calm almost serene atmosphere to it. Take advantage of this. If you live with housemates they will probably be with their families. This means you can walk around the house naked if you want.

A great way to spend a relaxing day alone is to do something with it. I recommend watching movies. There’s this great video store at George and Charlotte called Have you Seen…? It’s better than Blockbuster because it’s not an evil bloodsucking corporation and you don’t have to go over a hill to get there – Christmas time is no time for physical exertion! Stuff your face with junk food and do nothing! Be lazy and enjoy it – you’ve dealt with enough crap throughout the year and you deserve this rest!

I think the best option is to spend the holidays with friends. Celebrate in the way of your choice, and begin new traditions for yourself. Call up some other friends who can’t go home for Christmas and create a nice Christmas dinner. Play the music that you want and just have a good time. The holiday period ought to be about spending time with those whom you want to be around – not those you are supposed

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.