Okay, so here we go. It is that time again. For many it is the happy wonderful time of the year, for many others all that cheer just turns your stomach. Right. Maybe we could handle it better if we could just tackle them one at a time, but stores seem to want to throw them at us all at once right. Before October even gets here they are already advertising New Years. One isle is dedicated to Halloween and turn the corner there are Christmas trees with little pilgrims gathered around it. Halloween i covered in another post here i am going to cover Thanksgiving and Christmas together and separate kinda. Just bear with me.
So, family gatherings. How to handle them. We all love our family right, (don’t answer out loud please) let’s just all say yes. But no one likes them all at once. Get thirty people and kids all in one location. People stumbling over each other, fighting for seats. Trying to to mingle and talk over the kids noise. Maybe some people aren’t quite getting along. Family grudges start coming out. People are now getting uncomfortable. Some are going quite waiting fo r the moment to pass. What to do.
Either you are going to be one of them in the mingling or you are going to be one hanging out by the far corner waiting for a few people to leave and make it less crowded. Bring alcohol. This will help loosen people up. Make things less tense. Okay not the best solution exactly unless you want drunk relatives. Keep it simple if you know some members have drinking problems. Maybe make punch and control the amount in it. Just enough to make people at ease.
Mentally prepare yourself. You know it is coming, maybe prepare some quick change topics you can go to to direct conversations or way to dodge talking to people you want to avoid. Another idea, bring games. Maybe a trivia game where you can keep some cards in your pocket and pull out to distract people. Like what is the name of that one christmas song.
Okay so you wake up holiday morning and you find a fat guy in a red suit in your living room eating cookies. What do you do? Well if it is Thanksgiving you probably panic and grab a gun. Okay had to throw that in there. If you do find something like this in your home call the cops. You may want to make sure it is not a relative first, assuming this is Christmas time. They may be there to surprise the kids or something.
Okay how to survive a bad gift. Someone gives you a bad gift, (guessing you don’t want them to know you don’t like it) try to control your face. Smile and koo a little. Say something like “i wanted one of these. Thank you”or “I’ve been looking at these.” or maybe “I just got So-n-So one of these and was thinking of getting one for myself.” Keep it in the package, you can probably return it or regift it later. If you plan to regift, remember who it came from you don’t want to give it back to them. That is award.
Okay so when picking out a gift, a few tips to think about. Be careful of what you get. Unless this is your child or family member you know well, avoid pets as gifts. You get a niece or nephew a pet their parents might not be to happy about that and they might not get to keep it. Avoid gifts that wont be there for the actual holiday event unless discussed ahead of time with the person in question. It does kind of suck if everyone there is opening gifts and your gift will be here in two weeks. If this is the case, like you ordered it and it wont be here on time, might throw in a box of candy or something for that day and let them know it is on the way. Avoid anything too personal or intimate depending on who and where the opeing will take place. You don’t want your wife or girlfriend opeing lingerie in front of thier father or boss. Kinda awkward.
Okay, here is a scenario for you. You walk under some misletoe, someone else happens to be nearby. ( we are not talking about family here, like office party type, unless of course you have a weird family) You both notice, what do you do? You are expected to kiss. If this is not some ideal setting and you don’t want to, it is alright to just smile and nod some acknowledgment to them to be polite and quickly move on. The really embarrassing part is when you go in for the kiss and the move away sort of leaving you there like WTF. How to recover. Well you don’t you just sort of pick up your pride and go have a drink. So lets go back and say you are standing there and they are coming in for the kiss and you don’t want to but you don’t want to be the ass about it. You can turn your head slightly so that it lands on your cheek and kiss them on their cheek at the same time. You know friend zone them. This is a recovery that doesn’t exactly hurt them or humiliate them.
Now for the eating part of the holidays. Everyone over eats on the holidays. You know the drill. Food, deserts, candy, punch. So if you know you are going to be dining with relatives, they are going to expect you to eat. So skip breakfast or eat very little. Just to keep your stomach from grumbling. Especially if you are going to be eating at more than one family. After all these people have been cooking for hours, probably from the crack of dawn on this meal. Are you going to say, “no i don’t want any.” Even if you just make a sandwich with some turkey and a bisket you should have something there. Just be polite about it. Say i stopped at so and so and we ate there so i will just have a bite.
Okay so here are a few Christmas creatures.
The Christmas time was originally refered to as the darkest days of the year. Not just because it literally is these days with the shortest amount of daylight. It was considered a dangerous time of year. The winter season was the hardest time to survive in the old world. You couldn’t grow crops and the weather could be harsh. There are many winter time creatures to fear. From all around the world.
By now everyone has heard of Krampus. The christmas devil or santa’s evil twin. He resembles santa in some ways, but has a horrible face with long matted hair and two large horns like a goat. Probably resembling the traditional satan figure. He kidnaps and east people by todays modern legends.
This is by tradition Santa’s little follower that hits bad children.
He comes to children sometime before Christmas, wearing tattered old clothing and raggedy fur. Belsnickel carries a switch to frighten children and candy to reward them for good behavior. He throws down candy in front of children and if they dive at it like a glutton he will hit them with the stick. However if they answer his questions correctly they will be rewarded with the candy.
As the legend goes, this wa a real man. He was rich and evil and even worshiped satan and was kicked out of the catholic church. He was exiled into the forest where he preyed on children disguised as a scarecrow complete with straw sticking out of his clothes possibly for warmth. He catches a boy and is about to eat him when he gets struck by lightning. A punishment from God. Still, he visits young children before Christmas, dressed as a scarecrow.
The Yule cat
This was an icelandic tradition that the yule cat would eat lazy children. It was a tradition that all hard working children would receive new clothing for Christmas and the yule cat could tell who was lazy because they wouldn’t have new clothes and the cat would eat those lazy children.
The Yule Lads
The yule lads are an icelandic folk lore of trolls that causes trouble around the holidays and would leave little gifts for children in their shoes if left out. However their mother would kidnap children that didn’t obey thier parents and would eat them. Her name was Gryla.