I have spent more than a decade traveling for Christmas. I wouldn’t call myself an expert in navigating the delicate waters of family and holiday expectations, but I do have a few words of wisdom beyond the obvious things like don’t drink too much before wrapping presents, and steer clear of political topics at the holiday table. My tips go a little something like this:
If you want your family to pay extra attention to you, put on a few pre-holiday pounds, wear an empire waist dress, and decline a cocktail right off.
Be prepared to explain what a virgin is to your five year old at Christmas Eve mass. Good luck!
If you love a type of cookie that your aunt makes, and you know your older brother will eat all of the cookies before you arrive, it’s totally fair and appropriate to have your mom hide you one. Better make it two.
Hot buttered rum is never a good idea after 2 am. I wasn’t sure about this tip, so I tested it several times.
Don’t start fervently wishing for a white Christmas until all of your traveling family members have arrived safely.
If you will be “Christmasing” for two weeks, DO NOT forget your fat pants.
Do the dishes. Your hosts will talk up what a good guest you are, word will get around, people will want to invite you over, and pretty soon you’ll be eating free pie all year long.
Before you sneak your name onto your baby brother’s gift to your grandmother, make sure the gift bag contains more than just framed pictures of his kids.
6000 air miles, 1000 car miles, and four houses are worth it to spend the holiday season with those you love.
Even when your family is very generous, and your kids make a killing on Christmas morning, sometimes the best gift is a perfect puddle.
Of course for parents, the best gift is kids playing nicely.
This year, may Santa bring you that thing you really want, may you be able to maintain your composure when your relatives start talking about current events and politics, and may there be enough cookies that you don’t have to arm wrestle your sister-in-law for the crumbs.
[Tweet “”Don’t forget your fat pants” and other tips on having a successful Christmas trip.”]