Everyone knows that the holidays can be extremely stressful. Between all of the planning, the cooking, and the cramming all of your relatives into one home, it’s a miracle in itself if you can make it through Thanksgiving with all of your hair. But being that I don’t plan, and I certainly don’t cook (for the sole reason that I am awful at it), the only part of Thanksgiving that really stresses me out is spending the entire holiday weekend in a house that is bursting at the seams with my family. With all of the out of control children, fighting siblings and cooking catastrophes, the holidays seem to get crazier and crazier every year – at least in my family. So as I have gotten older (and wiser) I have come up with a few ways to avoid all of the unnecessary stress:

 

1. Get a job – Chances are your family doesn’t want to support you forever. Therefore, there comes a time when missing family gatherings because “you just couldn’t get away from work” is actually a legitimate excuse.

2. Take a vacation – Everyone knows that once a vacation is arranged, it’s nearly impossible to cancel or reschedule. So understandably, you’re going to choose going to the beach over losing any money you have already put into hotels, plane tickets, etc. (If like me, you can’t afford a vacation, there are plenty of photoshop programs to provide proof.)

3. Give good gifts – If you mail awesome gifts in advance that you know everyone will love, chances are they are going to be a lot more forgiving of your absence.

4. Fake the flu – Obviously you wouldn’t want to get your loved ones sick, so they will agree that it is best if you stay home. (Beware: this excuse has resulted in me actually getting sick 100% of the times I have used it.)

5. Volunteer – Spend some time giving back around the holidays. This way, you can avoid your family and contribute to your community at the same time.