Sometimes the biggest turkeys at your holiday table are the irritating relatives, from either your or your partner's side of the family. From little annoyances like Snoresville conversations and tacky personal questions, to big beefs like combative cousins and meddling mother-in-laws, we know that holiday get-togethers can try a parent's patience. Here are eight easy tactics for making sure your holidays are as happy as they can be!Call Your Best Friend
When your MIL (mother-in-law) gets so OOC (out of control) that you think you're going to burst, grab your cell and head to the pantry or porch to call your BFF (best friend foreverandever). You'll be able to get out your frustrations in a much-needed venting session and she'll help you see the humor in your situation.Get Out of the House
Offer to head to the store for that forgotten recipe ingredient or volunteer to take all the kids to the neighborhood park. What would seem like a chore on a regular day can be a very welcome escape from holiday turmoil and family members that drive you up the wall.
Play Your Favorite Songs
In charge of hosting the holiday and making the main meal? Stressing out in the car over coming confrontations? Load up your iPod or CD changer with some shake-your-booty music and tune out to your favorite tunes. Pull together your best bad-mood-busting anthems to blast as you mix up the mashed potatoes or "head over the river and through the woods" to the family reunion.
Make Out With Your Partner
Before your guests arrive, grab your partner and pull him into the powder room for a hot and heavy make-out session in the middle of dinner to spice things up, or initiate a fast and furious quickie. You'll distract yourself from sweating the small stuff, and instead work up a sweat that's sure to make your partner grateful for having a hottie like you in his life.
Pretend to Look Interested
When annoying Uncle Al insists on going on and on about how Wall Street could have avoided the crash, or your irritating sister-in-law starts telling you in painstaking detail of how hard it was to choose the right granite for her countertops, hit the invisible mute button. Tune them out, give them your best fake interested stare and start planning your dream vacation (or just replay that bathroom room make-out session from earlier!).
Start Planning Your Memoir
What better way to plot against your crazy family than using them as comedy material? Take mental notes on each and every piece of unsolicited advice given out and every terribly tacky sweater worn for your humorous, best-selling, David Sedaris-style memoir about your family. You can even practice your writing skills here on ParentsConnect by submitting a Spill!
Volunteer to Wash the Dishes
If at the end of the holiday meal, your relatives and fellow guests are grating on your nerves so badly you'll do anything to be free of them, volunteer to wash the dishes. Sure, you'll be taking on extra work at the end of an exhausting day, but the peace and quiet in the kitchen-and the brownie points you'll earn in everyone's eyes-just might be worth it.
Find an Open Restaurant
Still not convinced that you'll be able to survive a big family reunion? Then go ahead and bail! Call the host with your apologies that you cannot attend (sick kids are always a GREAT excuse!). Then head to ParentConnect's neighborhood listings to make a reservation at a nice restaurant in your town where just you, your partner and your kids can enjoy a special and quiet celebration. Sometimes bowing out of "quality time" with the relatives and forking over some hard-earned cash in favor of saving your sanity is TOTALLY worth it!