Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Christmas survival guide

Amber Luther
Although family fights are nearly unavoidable during the holiday season, there are some ways to prevent conflict and enjoy Christmas.

Nostalgia may be a staple of the Christmas season, but so is family drama.

When I think back to past Christmases, I smile — watching Christmas movies in my pajamas, drinking apple cider next to the dryer (we don’t use our fireplace) and dressing up for Christmas Eve church service gets my mental record player playing dreamy holiday music.

But then the needle rips off the record when I remember getting into a screaming match with my mother over winter coats or watching as my brother smashed my other brother’s Nintendo DS on the hardwood floor.

Nobody can escape familial conflict. But over the years, I’ve developed some tips for making it through Christmas without anyone’s eggnog getting poisoned.

1. Be willing to compromise

As hard as it is to believe, you might be the only one who wants to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” for family movie night for the fifth time this week. So to curb a heated argument, you’ll have to give something up.

You could agree to watch “Home Alone” with your family and your favorite movie by yourself later. Everybody else gets to witness Kevin McCallister’s many felonies, and you get to sing along to “It Feels Like Christmas” alone without any judgement.

2. Discuss politics with care

The holidays seem to be when everybody turns into a political expert. Your father, who has apparently run all of America from the comfort of his armchair, decides that everybody needs to hear his wisdom at Christmas dinner. Coincidentally, everything about his political stance makes you sick.

But before you contribute, remember that you don’t want your friendly political discussion turning into an MMA match. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say could:

a) Cause people to go home early
b) Lead to a shouting match
c) Inspire your parents to disown you

If what is about to come out of your mouth could cause any of the above, it’s smart to stifle it. Remember that even though you may disagree with your cousin Earl’s case for American communism, ridiculing him might hurt his feelings.

3. Don’t participate in “festive activities”

The Christmas Spirit gets me every time.

It’s the one that makes you agree to go caroling. It guilts you into baking cookies with your brothers and going to Gaylord Texan to look at ice.

But trust me, your throat will die after singing “O Holy Night” a thousand times and you’ll definitely end up baking the cookies yourself. And the Gaylord Texan exhibit is severely underwhelming.

Hear me: The Christmas Spirit is an illusion. It’s there to trick you into doing uncomfortable things with your family under the guise of “festive activities.” You can’t be swindled like that, but your family will throw a fit if you don’t show the customary amount of holiday cheer. So do some swindling yourself.

Utilize scavenger hunts. When your little brothers come asking when you can bake them cookies, write them up an “Oh dear! Christmas is here!” scavenger hunt. They’ll spend hours in the backyard in search of a three-legged reindeer, and you’ll get to enjoy a “Snowflakes & Cashmere” bath bomb. Precious solitude.

4. Enjoy your time together

Even though these tips help, they won’t guarantee a conflict-free Christmas. No matter how unproblematic your family is, somebody is going to cry, or yell, or tell your parents that they didn’t raise you right. That’s just family.

But believe it or not, you’re going to look back on this time and remember only good things. The political arms races will seem just peachy, and watching “Home Alone” for the ten thousandth time will start up your mental record player.

So don’t stress about the conflict and snuggle up by the dryer with a good book. And if you have patience to spare, invite your family to join you.


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About the Contributors
Muna Nnamani, Managing Editor
Muna Nnamani (she/her) is a senior and a third year staffer. She’s super excited for this year’s staff, because they’re all pretty decent people. Outside the paper, her one hobby is listening to the same three songs on repeat and thinking about her feelings. She gets five hours of sleep on a good night, but she’s still thriving.
Amber Luther, Graphics Editor
Amber Luther is a senior and this will be her second year on staff as a designer. She is excited to finish her last year of high school with her closest friends on staff. When she isn’t designing graphics or fixing her layout on a spread, she is watching Netflix or shopping. Amber is very excited to be this year's graphics editor and create new content for the newspaper.

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