The fear of Christmas. It is also close cousins of doronophobia (the terror of opening gifts) and simbosiophobia (the fear of parties).

If you’re reading this, it might already be too late to dodge the family this weekend.

Look, we’re excited for a deserved rest and spending time with loved ones, but the politically incorrect and nosy relatives? Not so much. Thus, our guide to getting through the festive season… peace of mind intact. Let’s face the truth, the most wonderful time of the year is not always so wonderful. 

If you’re worried about how to handle those unpleasant small talks charged with difficult questions and unsolicited advice, don’t despair – we’ve got you.

Your life, your choices. 

You’re an adult and don’t need to justify your existence or life choices.

“When are you getting married?” “When are you giving us grandkids?” It’s easy to get defensive off the back off these sort of remarks, or revert to childhood roles, and think: where did THAT come from, afterwards. 

But it’s absolutely okay to make it clear that you’d rather talk about something else. You should not compromise your privacy to keep every would-be family journalist happy. 

Defer to the Constitution

When there’s the inevitable hot potato calls for your opinion on abortion rights, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ freedoms, politely refer to the Bill of Rights and remark about our incredible Constitution that emphasises freedom. It’s one way to indicate where you stand without risking things getting heated on your limited time off. 

O ska ba fa chance – make the conversation about them

The best way to handle a nosy family member is to flip the conversation and make it entirely about them – without giving them a chance to interrogate you. Or drag you into a political debate you have no interest in having. 

Always have an exit plan

An exit strategy is mandatory in life and in business. Most fights and heated arguments usually break out at the after party when everyone is too familiar. You might want to leave a little earlier to avoid the circus. 

This article appeared as part of the year-end issue of our award-winning newsletter /The Wrap/

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