by Modern Miss Manners


Christmas has arrived. Deliver us from evil, amen.

You’re probably still on a plane, train or automobile rocketing you toward holiday cheer. It feels lovely before you arrive: the holidays are for family, right?… RIGHT? The decorations, the food, the quality time… this year’s gonna be different! Your relatives are totally gonna treat you like an adult with a job and interests they’d like to discuss in casual conversation!

They’re not. They’re really not. Your parents are probably cool by now (you’re becoming less of an idiot) and your siblings get you. It’s the rest of your family that causes such general confusion and blind rage on the day we trot out fancy-yet-church-appropriate outfits to celebrate. Somehow they always ask the questions that are both inappropriately familiar and yet generally disinterested – all followed up by some horrifying relic of a memory from your tweens. (I was TEN when I spilled gravy on my new holiday pants and cried about it in the bathroom, not THIRTEEN. OKAY AUNT ELLEN? OKAY? JESUS GOD.)

My only advice is this: keep your goddamn mouth shut. This isn’t a verbal sparring match. This is survival mode. Smile and nod. No matter how clever your retort to any number of mortifying questions, you’ll sound like a petulant child. The sooner you accept the fact that they’ll see you as a gravy and tear-stained tween til the end of time, the better.

Now go refill your wine glass, all the way to the tippy top. Shh… it’s gonna be okay. Go take a nap with your cousin’s ancient poodle, or pet someone’s baby. They can’t judge you.

Happy holidaze, y’all! x MMM