Now that you’re finally coming out of your Hallow-hangover, and have succeeded in removing glitter from all the places that it wasn’t designed to go, you’re probably starting to bump “Mistletoe” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” despite the eye rolls and groans that you might be on the receiving end of from your boyfriend or roommates. Whatever. They’re related to the Grinch and also probably delusional if they think that you’re going to wait all the way until the day AFTER Thanksgiving to start celebrating the best time of the year.
I’m not going to lie, Christmas is my absolute jam. You get an entire month off from school to do nothing but spend time with loved ones, drink alcohol that costs more than $12 (thanks, Mom and Dad!), keep Love Actually on repeat, and play in the snow until your face is redder than it was after your first OTPHJ. But before you get to climb up onto Santa’s lap, there’s still one more hurdle. Thanksgiving.
The week that you spend with your family surrounding this festive feast can sometimes be trying. And by trying, I mean that it is the first time you’ve been home for a significant period of time since you left for school in August. You’re starting to realize that your high school pals don’t hold a candle to your college friends. You could have sworn your parents never used to be this controlling. Your ex-boyfriends have apparently developed a new skill where they constantly make you roll your eyes so hard that you’re actually starting to be scared of going blind. Take a breath and a sip of whatever red you have hidden behind your boots in the closet. You’ll make it through the week just fine, the same way that sorority women have for decades — with a little faith (and a lot of mimosas).
Depending on whether you go to a state or private school, you have anywhere from a long weekend to an entire week to fill with things that don’t include drinking or boys. Don’t worry. You don’t have to completely give up your favorite two vices. You just have to be a little more careful in how you go about your business now that you’re back in Dad Domain.
For whatever reason, raging hangovers lasting into the late afternoon are not as acceptable in the real world as they are in your college dreamland. You know what is acceptable in the real world? Baking. And crafting. Two tasks that require little brain power and easily mask the hangover that you’ll be nursing. Honestly, this is great practice for your future career, if you plan on being a wife who goes to lots of fundraising dinners and benefits, but still spends a lot of time with her children and manages to get a delicious dinner on the table every night. Spend the weeks leading up to the break looking for recipes and crafts that you want to try. After all, the key to masking your hangovers is not drinking less, but coming prepared with a variety of mindless activities to distract everyone (including yourself) from your throbbing temples.
Since you’re going to be relegated to an insane number of mandatory family time, you might as well make the most of it. Now that you’re a little older and mostly grown out of your teenage angst, you might start to notice that your relatives actually don’t suck. Like, actually at all. In fact, they’re kind of bomb. While it’s true that you’d probably rather be spending your Thursday night drinking with your squad, getting buzzed off nice wine or bourbon and listening to your grandpa tell you about what frat life was like back in his day is actually kind of wild. Your family had more than a few crazy nights back in their days, and now that you’re older they’re probably down to spill. Plus, they’ve definitely got some dirt on your parents; and what’s better than hearing about the time that your mom used an extension cord, blender, and the sorority’s back parking lot to get around the “No Alcohol in the House” rule on Margarita Monday?
Seeing your friends can be hit or miss, although you don’t usually realize it until after the fact. When you were little, the best part of Thanksgiving was actual Thanksgiving. Now, Thanksgiving Day is still hella rad, but be sure that you don’t overlook Thanksgiving Eve. Black Wednesday (as it is oh so affectionately known) is the perfect excuse to get back together with old friends you haven’t seen in a while, catch up, and party. Since it’s the first weekend that you’re all back in your old stomping grounds since summer, there’s no doubt that something will be happening. Some of the best nights come when you combine alcohol and friendships that you’ve had forever. The one drawback is the inevitable pissing contest that will happen as each of you fumble over one another in a quest to prove once and for all that YOU are the one having “the most fun” with the “best big” and the “best friends” at the “best school ever.” Smile politely as you listen to your friends try to one-up and out-do one another, sitting back with the knowledge that you’re the obvious winner.
The co-ed sleepovers that you’ve likely grown quite partial to are another matter altogether. Far be it from me to stop you from attempting to sneak an old man friend up the stairs and past your parents’ room, but make triple sure that you’re proceeding with caution. There is literally nothing more uncomfortable than having your little brother knock on your bedroom door to ask who you’re giggling with, or to be caught red handed by your dad. Unless your parents are out of town, it might be best to just save the sock on the door until you’re back at school. Or, you know, just go to his house.
TL;DR, do everything you normally do, just don’t get caught. And say whassup to your grandparents..