Christmas is so close I can almost smell the emotional breakdown I’m bound to have when I arrive home! The kind of meltdown at the thought of spending time with my crazy family as I eat myself into a diabetic coma… because I fail to practice restraint when eating a box of Celebrations. I love my family to the moon and back… but it can be tricky when you’re a grown ass person and your parents still treat you like you’re 10… whilst casually forgetting that I don’t like penis! “So Shem, have you got a boyfriend yet?” Nope. Still very much one of those gays you read about in the news mum! Navigating the Christmas dinner conversation in my household is super important for a successful outcome where we’re still all on talking terms before Downton Abbey’s Christmas special. So here are 5 subjects to steer clear off if you know what’s good for you!
One – Relationships
You should treat your family like a Facebook status. Nobody needs to know about your love life because generally nobody gives a shit! Whether you’re engaged, newly single ready to mingle or about to enter a civil partnership with one of your cats, don’t encourage this conversation. The bombardment of questions like “what ever happened to Susan… she was such a lovely girl!” will ensue… and you will not have the patience or the will power to blink back the salty tears of heartbreak retelling the story of how that relationship went magnificently tits up.
Two – Religion
One time I told my mother I was thinking of converting to Buddhism and she was roughly two seconds and one “not under my roof!” away from calling a priest to exorcise the freewill from my body. So naturally I backtracked so far into Narnia before she started blaming herself for not bringing up the good Christian girl she so wished and prayed for! Unless you want the moral fabric of your being critiqued/scrutinized beyond all recognition, I suggest you keep all your witchcraft, voodoo and Satanism to yourself on Christ’s holy birthday!
Three – Your Job
Unless your profession consists of being a doctor, lawyer or secret government scientist on the brink of finding a cure for cancer… keeping your employment credentials vague isn’t such a crazy idea. Someone will always have an opinion about your job or the career path you’re currently on based on zero knowledge at all except the sweet scent of bullshit. If you complain you’ll be told how easy you actually have it, and if you try to spin a little positivity you’ll be branded a dreamer.
Four – Children
Why is it when our parents hit a certain age they feel they are OWED grandchildren?! I don’t remember signing a contract as a child to say that I am obligated to bear kids just for the pleasure of my parents. My mother grills me every time I see her on not when I’m having children, but “when are you giving me grandchildren?” When you say? Fuck you that’s when! But alas I mumble something like “oh look is that a squirrel over there!” with my oh so cunning distraction skills. It’s insane. Apparently if you’re in a relationship… make babies. If you’re not in a relationship… make babies. But whatever you do… make some damn babies or you’re just an embarrassment to yourself and everyone else involved. Avoid chats on kids… it leads to disillusionment and panic.
Five – Any TV Shows You Like
When engaging in discussions with extended family… ya know the ones you see only at Crimbo… it’s best to not imply you have any pastimes or personality for that matter. “So you like Orange is the new Black? AND the crude semi pornographic nature of the show interests you does it?! Hmmm… hmmm!” *Insert judgy eyes all on you here* To side step the awkwardness of having to explain that watching Breaking Bad doesn’t mean you’re a meth enthusiast, it’s best to just lie. Solidify your family’s warped perception they have of you because lets face it… they can’t handle the truth!