Holiday Dinner

How to: Survive The Holidays Using Just a Book

With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is officially here! For me, Thanksgiving is the less stressful of the Schuhmacher holidays, though both are exhausting. Here are five ways you can escape the family insanity, especially if you’re anything like me, and are six months into having moved halfway across the country and haven’t seen your family since you moved away from home. Can’t wait!!

1. Be a student and either be stressed or look stressed.


I’m not going to lie, this trick is the most effective if you’re a college student. My sophomore year of college, I got out of a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving brunch with my very extended family by merely bringing along a copy of whatever Norton Anthology we happened to be reading that semester. 


I didn’t open it, no of course not, I just stared at it and occasionally sighed and was excused from the table immediately following my last bite of smoked salmon eggs Benedict because “oh Honey, you just look so stressed out!”


I was pushed out the door to “go study” with a roadie full of Whiskey Sour and went home to take a very long, very needed nap.




2. Be a dad and you can pretty much get away with anything.


I don’t know how my dad does it, but every year, without fail, he gets out of our annual Christmas Eve post-Church family coffee and chocolate mousse political discourse. I find him laying completely horizontal with an outdoorsy hardback, typically fly fishing but also sometimes Colorado’s top rated trails. Barely out of the watchful eye line of my mother, who would also rather be doing pretty much anything else than listening to Uncle Buzzy talk about tax cuts and health insurance, my father is sunk so low into whatever couch that we’re mildly concerned that his knees might give out on his way back up.


3. Be the “cool cousin” and take a kid off the exhausted hands of your aunts and uncles.


I am the third-eldest of twenty-six first cousins, so I have twenty-three excuses to get out of the holiday happiness. In a family with so many offspring, one of the easiest ways to get out of the chaos is by asking whichever aunt most recently had a child if you could “take the cutie off her hands for a minute, read them a book, you know, whatever”


Once you’ve read them the book and they’re either distracted or asleep, then you get to go off and do the whatever. My whatever often included raiding my grandfather’s bookshelf, it’s why I have such an affinity for Clive Cussler.


4. If you’re in charge of cooking, that’s a built in excuse!


Seriously, stick your nose deep in that cookbook and only come up for air once everyone’s calmed the F down. 


5. Literally just read the book and ignore everyone that tries to talk to you.


Because that’s true happiness.


Featured Image Via The Huffington Post.