December 21, 2016 When You’re Stuck With Kooky Family Members During The Holidays Hi everyone, Nikki here! Since we’ll all be stuck with our families for the holidays and the New Year, I thought I’d re-post this advice column about how to deal with your zany family members at family get-togethers. I have a very large family. All of my relatives live in different cities, so during the holidays we have big family gatherings. I HATE attending these gatherings because everyone gets pretty rowdy, including the kids. It makes me feel nervous and uncomfortable. I can’t tell my parents that I don’t want to attend the gatherings because I HAVE to. What should I do? Gunjan Hi Gunjan! That’s so cool that you have a big family, though I’m sure it’s a little annoying that they get so wild. It sounds like you’re not as outgoing as everyone else, and you like things a little more chill and quiet. I get why your parents would want you to be part of these gatherings, since they’re big family events, and you’re an important part of your family. But I’m sure your mom wouldn’t be so happy if one night she found you curled up in a ball in the corner, plugging your ears, muttering, “So loud… too crazy… FREAKING OUT!!!” Maybe it would help to tell her how you feel and suggest a few solutions. You could explain that it actually makes you super anxious to be around so much activity and rowdy people. Then you could ask if she’s cool with any of these ideas: Maybe after you chat with the whole group for a while, you can go up to your room and work on extra credit stuff for school, and then you can come back down toward the end of the night after having a little space. (Parents LOVE when you volunteer to do extra credit! To them, this means “eventual college scholarship and fewer nights eating spam and Raman noodles to save up for tuition.”) You can see if any of your cousins want to join you for a quiet activity in your room (or their room, if you’re at their house), like watching a movie or playing a game. If it’s nice outside, maybe you can ask if after socializing a little, you can sit in the backyard with your cousins and play Go Fish or another card game (if you have a table and light back there). If your parents aren’t cool with you leaving the main area, or no one wants to do something quieter with you, maybe you can bust out your iPod for a little while and listen to music when you start getting annoyed or stressed out. It’s possible that your mom might say something like, “It’s once a month! Suck it up, loosen up, and have a little fun!” And the last part isn’t bad advice. It IS only once a month, and maybe if you relax a bit, these parties will seem less obnoxious and more entertaining. (My family is SUPER entertaining when they’re obnoxious…and I have a whole blog that proves it!) What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Gunjan? How do you deal with kooky family members during the holidays? I’d also love to hear all about your kookiest family member!