Christmas Day at my family's place tends to be an epic event. It goes for the whole day. If you are like me and are an introvert, and also have a few family members who you really have difficulty being around for any longer than a few minutes (NPD/antisocial/obnoxious/racist), it can help to have a plan of attack in order to get through the day without being rude in response.
Here is my survival plan for the day:
When things get too much, there are other things I can do. There will be no less than three playful dogs in the yard, a cocktail bar and if I really have to, there is a quiet and dark room where I can go and read for a bit or meditate.
Also, the majority of people will be lovely. I will find urgent things to go and talk to them about.
"Yes, I am now a Doctor, no I can't take a look at that skin lesion/advise you on your medication regime/tell you whether or not you have a legal case against that ED who made you wait more than 30 minutes when you went in with a sore toe. Go and see your own Doctor, and look over there, isn't that the cocktail bar/amusingly drunk cousin/dog stealing beer? Excuse me, I need to pee."
Yes, I may plead diarrhoea in order to escape. Nobody will doubt the Doctor, right?
Of course, I am not entirely serious. Being a bit tipsy around people who are being incredibly rude/racist/obnoxious would lead to me shooting my mouth off and putting a big dent in the fake family harmony that is Christmas Day.
But a little bit, plus trips to the bar to mix cocktails for other family members? It might make for some fun.
There it is again, me in that quiet, dark room. I even have some guided meditations loaded onto my iPhone just in case. I kid you not.
Family is a precious thing. In most cases, you do as well as you can and you all get by. In some cases, it can be traumatic, damaging and maladaptive. My family is a mix of both.
We all have people with whom with are thrown together once a year through circumstance or genetics. In small doses, I can enjoy the positive sides to their personalities, and if I have a plan, I can leave it at that. I know I'm also far from perfect.
Have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year!