Hoo boy. Christmas is coming and everyone with a big or particularly excitable family just took a collective intake of breath. It is time to prepare, because you know with absolute certainty that there will be a bunch of delicious ~drama~.
It’s what inevitably happens when big groups of people come together and are plowed with some crackling and eggnog – but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimise the damage by implementing a couple of tried and true methods of reining in the beasts.
As someone who comes from a big ol’ Italian/British fam, let me assure you that diffusing drama is my specialty (when I’m not causing it myself that is, but ya know, we aren’t all perfect). Here’s a few easy ones.
1. Make sure everyone is well fed
Hangry people are ripe for drama. Their lack of physical fuel is what fuels their rage, as their hunger awakens a long-forgotten need to lob an unwelcome comment on someone’s appearance or a racist jibe in the direction of an equally hangry human.
Do not let your Christmas party fall into disarray because of a lack of sustenance. Beyond the fact that you’ll need sustenance to keep everyone civil and calm throughout the day, you’ve also got to remember that, well, food is everything.
Heck, even I’d be ready to go into battle if I went without my Christmas roast – or if, woe betide him, my younger brother dared to risk sneaking the last piece of garlic bread from within my grasp (garlic bread should be served at every meal, fight me).
2. Keep ’em entertained
The easiest way to manage a bunch of people who could start feuding at any moment is to funnel that energy and determination into a much safer (and infinitely more fun) avenue. So your entertainment options better be top-notch or buddy, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Speaking of time, there’s a lot of hours between lunch and dinner, so if your family tends to have a full-day affair you’ll need something to keep you busy. Board games, tunes, and a healthy dose of (controlled!) competition is all you need.
Maybe you wanna pop your fam in the face with whipped cream with Hasbro‘s new Pie Face Cannon, stuff up their chatter with Speech Breaker, get real up close and personal with Blindfold Twisteror maybe even go back to traditional roots with the family classics like Monopoly or Jenga.
Or if you’re keen to laugh at ’em all, play Speak Out – popularised after a buncha celebs thoroughly embarrassed themselves on Ellen DeGeneres‘ show.
3. Don’t stuff up the seating
Look, it’s obvious that you don’t want to saddle your religious grandmother with your Yiannopoulos-like cousin at dinner (or at least, it should be), but there are stacks of other seating considerations that you’ll want to be very, very mindful of.
Whoever is in charge of doling out the grub needs to be as close to the kitchen as possible, because trust me when I say that brushing past people is annoying enough BEFORE you add in a pot of piping hot potatoes (say that five times fast). Spillage is a recipe for disaster.
And then you have the drama of seating those pesky left handers. Honestly, left handers, we love you but you are so utterly inconvenient at the table. People reaching for things, scoopin’ an extra serve, pouring gravy… Elbow clashes abound.
Seriously though, best of luck wrangling your fam. It’s a tireless and thankless task, but hey, at least you’ll get a bunch of pressies and good food out of it – plus really, the company goes alright in the end.Image: Instagram / @krisjenner