Patty Unleashed: 12.1.21
Every year, I encourage you to use the holidays as a time to enjoy your families by setting aside petty differences and avoiding controversial subjects because family is more important than politics. The pandemic meant most of us weren’t able to celebrate together last year—but some embraced the quieter alternative. This year, I suggest we change things up by combining Festivus with a little bit of chaos. Not familiar with Festivus? It was a holiday made popular by the sitcom Seinfeld that encouraged people to air petty grievances and participate in feats of strengths. Not familiar with chaos? Let me help.
To the sibling who asks every year why don’t you make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top like mom did: You have several options. Nicely suggest most adults don’t need marshmallows to eat their vegetables, or perhaps, remind them they’ve been coming to your house for 15 years and never once brought the dish themselves or hosted a holiday.
To the conspiracy nut in your family: It is okay; we all have them. As they begin their discussion of QAnon and the reemergence of JFK Jr, tell them you heard Q actually stands for Quentin Tarantino, and messages were embedded in his blockbuster hit Pulp Fiction, but you have to watch it backwards.
To the family member who always arrives more than an hour late: Don’t wait, serve dinner on time. When they do arrive, smile and say in your best British accent (the accent makes it sound nicer), “I am sorry, we’ve eaten and have no leftovers. Perhaps, I can stir up some oatmeal for little Timmy.” Don’t worry if they do not have a child named Timmy. With your British accent, anything is acceptable.
To the uncle who comes in with his six pack of PBR and wants to know where you keep your top-shelf liquor: I am not belittling PBR—I used to drink 905 quality beer products. For your uncle, I am certain the Fireball or Jack Daniels you confiscated from your kids will hit the spot. No reason to worry he will find the stuff you brought back from Ireland.
To your cousin on the opposite end of the political spectrum who keeps taunting you: March him to your mom and aunt then make him explain what he’s doing. You won’t be the person who says the f-word first this year! And yes, I did just suggest being a tattle-tale!
Whenever there is a lull in the conversation: Feel free to sprinkle in political buzzwords or throw one of your nieces under the bus by mentioning to her parents how much you love her tattoo. It doesn’t really exist—you just got confused (AKA fibbed).
And finally, for those who host the holidays: Remember it is up to you to say when you have had enough. Get into your PJs, put the kids to bed and turn off the lights. If your family is still sitting around drinking and laughing, remind one of them to lock up.
Yes, this holiday season, I’m done trying to be the Waltons! I am going to let my true imperfect, somewhat snarky, self out. I do believe pleasant pandemic Patty has died. So whatever kind of holiday you choose to have, enjoy it! Peace my Peeps.