Read our guide on how to face those cringe-worthy moments that often come with Yuletide cheer. When asked about your failed relationships or recent weight gain … will you be naughty? Or will you be nice?
Situation #1: Break-Ups
You’ve finally emerged from the depths of despair after a heart-wrenching breakup. You aren’t exactly in the mood for the season of cheer when your aunt drunkenly asks you what went wrong with that cute boy you were dating.
Naughty: “I don’t know, Aunt Susie. Maybe I should have asked you for relationship advice. You’re surely an expert after four marriages.”
Nice: “We went separate ways, and I wish him well. Need a refill?”
Situation #2: Marriage Material
Promising career? Check. Loving boyfriend? Check. Happy life? Check. Yet your accomplishments don’t seem to be quite enough for your family, who seems all too eager to sit you down (interrogation-style) and grill you on when you’re going to “settle down and get serious with Mr. Big.”
Naughty: “I’ll be lucky if he even wants to marry me … with a pack of wolves like you for in-laws.”
Nice: “We’re really happy right now, but aren’t rushing into anything. We’ll see!”
Situation #3: Weight Gain
Your favorite thing about the holidays? All the amazing food without the guilt; you aren’t the only one who splurges this time of year! You head to the dessert table for seconds when you feel a poke in your side and hear your grandma cluck, “You sure you want those seconds? Your figure sure isn’t what it used to be.”
Naughty: “Well grandma, from the looks of it, you haven’t exactly been resisting second helpings over the years.”
Nice: “I can’t pass up your delicious pie! And I need a little reward after all of those nights at the gym.”
Situation #4: Career Questions
While your family waxes on about the fancy watches they received from Cousin Rick, you barely hear a half-hearted thank you for your homemade gifts. As if your salary gap wasn’t apparent enough, your dad pipes in with, “So…when do you think you’ll find a better job?”
Naughty: “Did Rick mention the excessive gambling he’s been doing lately?”
Nice: “My job makes me happy, so I’m not rushing into anything new. Whose gifts are next?”
Situation #5: Political Pride
The election may be over, but that doesn’t mean the candidate-bashing has ceased in your home. However, the latest target seems to be you, as Grandpa demands to know why you voted for that “son-of-a-gun, numbskull candidate.” What ever happened to anonymity?
Naughty: “But that’s the beauty of democracy, Grandpa. The right to not vote for the backwards wackjob.
Nice: “I’m sorry Grandpa, but I’m kind of tired of election talk. What else have you been up to lately?”
Situation #6: Baby Talk
You’re still sporting the honeymoon glow, when you open a gift from your mom on Christmas morning. To your shock and embarrassment, you pull out a onesie that reads, “World’s #1 Grandma.” She beams at you and squeals, “I’m ready! Get busy making me a grandbaby!”
Naughty: “Not now, mom! Children are so exhausting. No wonder you aged so quickly.”
Nice: “We’ve still got quite a few years until the next milestone, but when the time is right, you really will be the world’s greatest grandma.”
Situation #7: Family Feuds
Forget Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s pen couldn’t even draw up the battle lines in your family! Somehow you’re pulled into some pitiful fight involving Uncle George’s failure to repay your mom’s third cousin’s sister-in-law the $24.50. Maybe it’s time to pull a Juliet and fake your own death.
Naughty: “Wait a minute. Let me dial Dr. Phil and see if he has an open slot for our dysfunctional family.”
Nice: “I’m sure Uncle George just needed a little reminder. I only have a few days with you all, so let’s have fun! Which movie does everyone want to watch?”
Situation #8: Bad Gifts
As your cousin proudly hands you what he claims is the “best present ever,” you can’t help but remember the mini tea party set he got you last year. You’re 25. He says, “I know how much you like boy bands. That NSync concert in ‘99 was a blast!” You put on your best fake smile as you unwrap a jumbo-sized t-shirt with Justin Bieber’s face smiling back at you.
Naughty: “Wow, I’ll be sure to drop this off at Goodwill on my way home.”
Nice: “Wow, thanks! I do like the song Boyfriend. He sounds just like JT!”
Situation #9: Awkward In-laws
The excitement of sharing a holiday with your boyfriend’s family quickly wanes as you end up on a long trip down memory lane, full of family videos and pictures of your beau’s high school prom. His creepy Uncle Ray is quick to offer an arm around your waist in reassurance that you’re way hotter than his high school girlfriend. And that arm of his keeps lingering…
Naughty: “I’m not threatened by some pimply prom date.” (As you forcefully remove his arm from your waist.)
Nice: “Aw, thanks. But she was a pretty prom date … I love her dress!” (As you edge away from his grasp…)
Situation #10 Match-Maker
Apparently the dating gene went straight to your sister, who seems to have a new guy at every holiday function. And while you can’t keep up with her latest dude, you’re left victim to your aunt’s latest blind date schemes. Not to worry! She assures you that he comes from a good home (granted, he’s still living there).
Naughty: “Not a chance. Your taste in men is worse than Kim Kardashian’s.”
Nice: “No thanks! I’m enjoying my singledom at the moment.”