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THE Home For The Holidays Survival Guide

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…to remind yourself why you and your extended family live under separate roofs.

Don’t get us wrong, we love our families and we’re always excited to see them. But at a certain point, it’s easy to understand where Kevin McAllister was coming from…

If you relate, here are some family scenarios you may encounter this holiday season, along with THE Surviving Not Thriving way of dealing with them:

SCENARIO #1: You don’t have to count how many glasses of champagne you’ve had because your mother-in-law passive-aggressively does that job for you.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: Pour it into an insulated cup with a lid and pass it off as coffee or water.


SCENARIO #2: It’s only been an hour and your uncle is already trying to stage a full-on political debate.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: Be the hero who distracts everyone with a game the entire family can enjoy. It’s impossible to continue fighting about politics when grandpa was dealt the Taylor Swift card in a game of charades.


SCENARIO #3: Your kids keep complaining that their sweaters are itching them. THE SWEATERS THAT YOU PAID GOOD MONEY FOR AND SPENT DAYS PICKING OUT.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: Keep it cute and festive and let them wear matching pajamas instead. Buy yourself some, too, and use it as the perfect Instagram photo opp that lets people know you are having a better time than you actually are. (Btw, all the pajama models you see below are actually Target employees and their families. HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?!)


SCENARIO #4: You are staying at your in-laws’ house and the only shower amenities they offer include a bar of soap, a 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner, and an old loofah.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: First off, toss the loofah and never look back. It’s a bio-hazard as far as you’re concerned. Then, unpack your favorite travel-sized toiletries, including a few extras to leave behind as a subtle suggestion.


SCENARIO #5: Your cousin has cornered you and is going back and forth between bragging about her kids and complaining about her husband.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: Bring up a new book you are reading and feel free to go in-depth about the synopsis and character development. Your cousin will get bored with you and make her exit. I suggest using one of Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks as your sweet escape.


SCENARIO #6: Almost every family member has a cold or is getting over a cold and all of the runny noses (and your fear of germs) are ruining your holiday spirit.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: Pack immune supplements and travel sanitizers, and pass them out as stocking stuffers. Or just quarantine yourself in a room and only emerge when necessary.

SCENARIO #7: Someone buys your kids a gift that you 100% don’t want coming back to your house, i.e. anything with glitter or slime, an annoying musical instrument, something that could tear a hole through the wall or land a kid in the emergency room.

[ THE ] SOLUTION: The more you act like you don’t like it, the more they will want it. That’s why you let them play with it and get it out of their system…at someone else’s house.


Wishing you luck!

xo, clea + joanna

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  1. “Until champagne is available as an essential oil” = best line of this whole blog piece. Thanks for a thorough and helpful gift/survival guide!

  2. I am still in amazement over the insulated wine cups! Haha! Need to purchase!
    Cool holiday survival guide!
    On my way to shopping!

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