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Christmas Survival Tips for Kids

Last time I wrote tips for adults wanting to survive visits from their young relatives. Today, these tips are for the younger crowd, who must survive holiday visits from not-so-welcomed relatives or friends.

First, children and teens, it helps to remember that these visits last only a few hours. You can be a survivor. If you happen to be the unfortunate kid who must endure people you’d rather not be around, the following tips have worked for people we know.

  • For relatives who insist on greeting you with wet, slobbery kisses on the mouth (yeck!): my brother used to say he had a cold and was contagious. I am not saying you should lie; it’s never right to lie—but it would work to your advantage if you DO have a cold or just recovered from an illness. If this applies to you, be sure to tell them BEFORE they approach.

  • Don’t sweat it when you’re made to sit at the little kids’ table and you’re not a little kid: I used to have to sit with my tiny relatives when I was in college. It gives you an excuse to get by without offending great-aunt Matilda, who won’t see you passing up her gross oyster stew. And, as an extra benefit, you won’t have to listen to conversations about social security, politics, or body aches.

  • If you are a teen or single young adult, expect nosy questions from inquisitive relatives who haven’t learned it’s impolite to ask personal questions. You may hear, “So, do you have a boyfriend yet?” or, “Why aren’t you married?” I know a person who replies with a smile, “Isn’t that a personal question?” Or if you’re extra bold, you could use the diversion tactic, “I’ll tell you the answer to that if you’ll tell me how much you weigh.” (Be careful when using this one; it could get you in trouble when you get home.)

  • If you have a cousin who is a brat, here is a great solution from a friend of ours. When “The Brat” hits her, she yells really loudly, “Oowwwccchhh!” It causes the adults to come running and she doesn’t have to deal with him by herself.

  • Be patient with older relatives who tell the same stories over and over. Someday YOU may be old and forgetful and will want people to be patient with you.

  • This is perhaps the most important of all: If you have a cell phone, PUT IT AWAY FOR THE DAY. People want to look in your eyes and have a real conversation with you.

This list covers the basics for a kid wanting to survive holiday visits which sometimes cause dread. With a little effort, you actually may enjoy yourself and look back with fond memories.

How about you? Got any survival tips we haven't mentioned? Share your comments below.

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