Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year, Old Year, Birthday; whatever it is you're celebrating this year, odds are you are going to be getting together with family. Yes, we all love family, and yes, it is good to spend quality time with family; but for many of us, five minutes is enough quality family time to last an entire year. For those who love the holidays but don't love spending time with their family, this list of guidelines to tolerate those family members you just can't stand is for you…

Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year, Old Year, Birthday; whatever it is you’re celebrating this year, odds are you are going to be getting together with family. Yes, we all love family, and yes, it is good to spend quality time with family; but for many of us, five minutes is enough quality family time to last an entire year. For those who love the holidays but don’t love spending time with their family, this list of guidelines to tolerate those family members you just can’t stand is for you…

 

Flickr via TimWilson

 

5

Strategic Gift Giving

 

If your least favorite family member always talks really loudly, get them something to shut them up. Jawbreakers candy is always a fine idea. If your incredibly annoying relative is a young girl, maybe this is the year to get her the doll she has always wanted so she will run away to play and thus, bother no one. Another idea (food related) is to buy said relative obscene quantities of their favorite food. They will eat and eat until they cannot stay awake and few things are better than your talkative relative falling asleep and not talking.

 

 

Photo Courtesy Flickr via jonseidman1988

 

4

Fake an Injury

 

Most holidays, families enjoy doing things together. This year, how about you suggest the family activity and make sure you can’t participate. What the ____ am I talking about, you ask? Let’s say, you show up to your family gathering and brought the game Twister for everyone to play. “Sounds like fun,” your family says. “Oh shoot- I forgot to mention that I have a broken ankle,” you say. “Looks like I can’t play… have fun without me!” With the exception of the pretend injury you will have to sustain for the entirety of your time with your family, this method to tolerate family members you love to hate will be relatively painless.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr via Trent Bigelow

 

3

Strategic Gift Receiving

 

Much like #5 on the list, gifts are a great tool of distraction that can aid in tolerating your loved ones. Like they say, Christmas is the season of giving, so why not give yourself something this year? I suggest a new mp3 player; all you have to do is tell your relatives that a friend (or Santa) gave it to you. Then, when your loved ones are doing whatever it is that they do (that you can’t stand), put in your headphones and enjoy the peaceful sound of something other than your annoying relatives. It’s simple and effective; it could cost a little, but it will assuredly be worth it.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr via Georgio

 

2

Fake an Illness

 

Much like #4 on this list, faking an illness can be a great way to tolerate your family members, but an illness can be a far more productive way to avoid/tolerate family members because injuries rarely have an implied risk of being contagious. This is pretty simple and can be practiced on several different levels. You can fake serious illnesses and “have to stay at home for your holiday get-together,” or you can have only a mild illness that will make you “have to stay in the corner, away from everyone.” No matter how sick you are, you will still have a good way to avoid that much-dreaded family quality time.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Via Gavin St. Ours

 

1

Move Away

 

The easiest way to tolerate members of your family during the holidays is to spend the holidays away from them. I realize this is not a cure-all, because web-cameras and video-chatting have become increasingly easy and user-friendly, but this just means you have to move somewhere without internet access. My recommendations? Northern Canada, a tent somewhere in Yellowstone, the Florida everglades, on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean. Wherever you go, be sure to move to a place you enjoy; and a place that is very secluded. Without those annoying family members around, you will enjoy the holidays like never before!