You know the drill. You’re home for the holidays, you’ve already been acquainted with your childhood room covered in hearts and pink teddy bears, you’ve got a big handful of roasted chex mix and a cup of hot cocoa in hand, and when you’re just about to sit back and relax, BAM. Here comes a pro-Trump comment from Uncle Steve with a chorale of nods and “mm-hms” coming from the kitchen. What do you say? What do you do? How much alcohol should you buy in preparation for this?
Here’s some potential scenarios and solutions you may encounter over the holidays if you’re from the Bible Belt. Happy holidays, y’all.
Uncle Steve stares out the window at the dead trees waving in the cold, dreary wind. He chuckles and turns to you. “Some global warming, huh?”
Say something along the lines of “Uncle Steve, how’s the hunting club going?” to divert the question. If he persists, ask if he’d like some more Jack. Give him a shot of Wild Turkey instead. He won’t know the difference.
Aunt Edith catches you filling up your glass of eggnog in the kitchen. It’s just you two. There’s no food for you to shove in your mouth as a distraction. You have to face her as you feel her burning eyes on your wrist tattoo. “So,” she begins. “Are you planning on marrying that boy you live with?”
Finish your eggnog in one chug. Fill up another glass. Ask Aunt Edith if she’s planning on ever shaving her mole.
“Tennessee Christmas” has been playing for three-and-a-half hours on repeat. No one seems bothered nor concerned by this.
“Accidentally” stumble and spill your eggnog all over the speakers. Everyone thinks you’re an alcoholic anyway.
As you try to make it across the house to feed your cat who’s locked in your bathroom since your mom is afraid of guests knowing cats leave behind hair, you’re faced with family members jumping out from left and right asking “So, where are you going to church now?”
Tell them you’re now attending the local Church of Scientology after re-watching Top Gun and realizing that Tom Cruise is probably the most underrated actor in Hollywood. However, this should only be told to family members under 60 to avoid inducing any heart attacks.
When opening presents, you realize everyone did their shopping at Cracker Barrel. You’ve now received eight Yankee Candles.
Smile and thank everyone. After all, you were just thinking how you’d like to start smelling more like a mixture of Angel’s Wings and Bahama Breeze.
You’re a vegetarian. Nobody approves of this. However, Aunt Edith has graciously made you a vegetarian dish out of the goodness of her heart. You take a big bite of her green bean casserole to discover it has bacon in it. After asking Aunt Edith about this, she says “Well, yeah, but it’s green bean casserole.”
Politely tell her thanks for thinking of you, but bacon isn’t actually on the vegetarian list. Ask her about her cats, Tizzy and Murph, as you scrape your plate back into the casserole dish and start plotting to put all of Aunt Edith’s least favorite foods in every one of your dishes next year.
Your pissed-off sister realizes you ate all the white chocolate macadamia nut Christie Cookies, only leaving behind a mess of oatmeal raisin crumbs. She starts bitching you out in the kitchen after she’s had a few too many cocktails.
Offer to bake some cookies later on with her to bond as sisters. If that doesn’t work, threaten to tell everyone about that time she drunkenly threw up in her menu at Buffalo Wild Wings while ordering cheese fries on a first date.
Your dad asks everyone if they like the 12-foot tree towering over the living room. They all ask where you guys picked it out. Your dad pauses and looks at you before saying "...the Barn Nursery."
When in reality, you guys scoped it out and chopped it down off I-40.
Your mom decides to open the liquor cabinet for some holiday wine — something she hasn’t done in eight years. She discovers an empty cabinet collecting dust. She looks at you. You look at your brother. He looks at your cousin. Your cousin looks at you.
Fox News is on the TV. All of a sudden, everyone is reminded of the ongoing and tragic war on Christmas.
Quick! Change the channel to TLC’s marathon of Undercover Boss. Christmas is saved.
However, it’s too late for your Nana. In front of everyone, she asks why you decided to say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” on your Facebook status.
Smile and say that you were including Christmas in your well wishes. Immediately restrict Nana on all your privacy settings.
Uncle Steve, after having too many shots of Wild Turkey thinking they were Jack, asks how you plan on succeeding in the following year.
Eat a mess of beans ‘n greens. Obviously.
Your mom starts bringing out all your childhood Santa pictures. She starts to cry over how cute you were and asks if you would watch a Christmas movie with her.
For God’s sake. Watch a Christmas movie with your mother.
You’re out of alcohol. Shit.
Maybe you should start practicing meditation? Kick boxing? Pick up smoking?
But not to worry, it’s almost 8 o’clock, which means it’s past everyone’s bedtime. Give everyone hugs and kisses while avoiding Aunt Edith’s hairy mole. Tell them you love them.
Because despite your differences, and despite their ability to drive you to drink, they’re your family. And it wouldn’t be the holidays without them.
And, of course, don't forget the thank-you notes.
Or else you can forget about getting any Yankee Candles next year.