The holiday season is upon us, and that means sharing dinners, brunches and eggnog with beloved relatives. And sharing foodstuffs with beloved relatives means that inevitably, you will be bombarded with questions about some topic that you don’t want to discuss.

If you’re unemployed, it will be your job search. If you’re single, it will be your relationship status. If you’re married, it will be your plans for children. And if you’re a parent, it will be as to whether this is “really how you’re raising your children.”

In other words, no one is free from the intrusions and unsolicited “advice” of relatives! Here are a few tips for dealing:

  1. Get absolutely shitfaced. You’ll have to deal with subsequent questions about why you’re an alcoholic, but it will feel good at the time.
  2. Channel a ninja. Imagine that you have to dodge every spiky-edged comment that comes your way. Fun, invigorating, and effective.
  3. Distract them by wearing a costume. If you show up with reindeer horns or a full-body bear costume, people will never know that your heart is breaking underneath it.
  4. Make a list of everyone’s dirty secrets, and bring them up. Maybe your Uncle Henry cheated on your Aunt Cindy, but they’re trying to sweep it under the rug — ask her about it in response to her inquiry about why you still don’t have a job after ten months of unemployment. It will only take you doing this to one or two unlucky people before everyone decides to shut the fuck up.
  5. Spend the holidays with some of your closest stuffed animal friends. They have a way of knowing when to stop asking questions.