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How Reading Will Help You Get Through the Holidays

The holidays are here and everybody is going home to spend time with their families. Going home not only means seeing family, but it’s also a welcome break from the daily grind of work and school. Everybody has at least one thing they love about going home, whether it’s seeing old friends, being around the family, or even reuniting with your favorite pet that you weren’t able to bring with you when you moved out. 

No matter how nice it feels to be home. For some reason we either get bored too quickly, or start to remember all the reasons why we moved out in the first place. Maybe your Dad has a particular fashion sense that drives you up the wall. Or perhaps your Mom never stops asking you to help max out her bench press. Either way, as much as we love our family, sometimes that flight home can’t come soon enough.

Here are some tips on how reading can help you avoid some of those household chores your parents want you to take responsibility for.

1. Read super serious non-fiction

After you fill your parents in on all the mistakes you have been making in the real world, suddenly announce that you have a super serious non-fiction book you have to finish. When they ask you what you’re reading, explain how important this particular work on psycho analysis is, and if you don’t finish it ASAP you may lose the opportunity to reach a higher level of understanding about the world. 

2. Read a book your parents used to always rave about

My dad used to always say that the Lord of the Rings were the best books he ever read. There was something about the dwarfs, elves, and orcs, that made him feel like the last human man riding gallantly into an open battlefield. At that point I would always have to say, “that’s nice dad, please put your shirt back on.” This year I plan to use a bit of reverse psychology. When he asks me to finally organize my section of the attic, I’m going to drop that I am 150 pages into Frodo’s journey to Mordor and simply cannot put the book down. 

3. Read politically charged literature

This will only work if your family is hardcore into America’s political struggles. Right when one of your family members starts talking about politics. Pick up your copy of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 and start reciting long passages without letting anybody get a word in. If somebody tries to interrupt you, remind them that they are limiting your speech and that is exactly how we got into the political situation we are in now. 

4. Read a book in another language

Ever wanted to learn about the complexities of German grammar, or the artistry of Mandarin? Well now is the time to start. Claim that your employer is offering Christmas bonuses for bilingual employees. You are now motivated to finally capitalize on the 4 years of French you took in undergrad. This is a tough route to take if you don’t really want to learn another language. But sometimes looking at a page of letters you can’t understand is better than hearing your mom and dad recite their childhood memories for the 1,000th time. 

5. Read a book about Eastern philosophy

When your parents try to pressure you into fixing something around the house, remind them that all material things are meaningless. Cleaning up something today only means it will become dirty tomorrow. Freedom from desire is freedom from suffering, therefore all of their expectations of you no longer matter. Contemplate your existence on the living room floor until they give up. 

 

All jokes aside, spend time some quality time with your family this holiday season. Chances are they love you much more than you can imagine. I know we all love to read, but sometimes that quiet time in the place you used to call home can be more rewarding than anything ever put down on paper. 

 

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