If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting me, you’ll know that I am not bashful by any definition of the word. I rarely meet a stranger, enjoy forcing shots down people’s throats and do it quite gracefully and without a lot of protest. I enjoy socializing without snapchats, live tweeting and more importantly WITH positive interaction. I cannot speak for everyone, but the most annoying thing I deal with when being around new people or people I’m not that close to is trying to talk to them but they are balls deep in their smartphones. Why did I get into more trouble when my phone only called people? Because I wasn’t busy updating the world on what I was doing. Phones were used to get your friend to the bar to cause trouble, not upload drunk photos that alerted the entire internet of the trouble you were causing.
So you’re telling me that Thanksgiving has an overload of football and distractions from your weird relatives and forced conversation but Christmas doesn’t? Oh… because athletes are people too? They have families and stuff? They aren’t just permanently doing stuff for our entertainment? Gotcha. Well know that we have that cleared up, how the hell are you going to deal with an entire day dedicated to nothing sports related at all? You like have to put down your phone, interact with people and can’t claim that you are checking on your fantasy football team every five minutes? Yikes. In this golden age of technology, far too many people are addicted to their phones and dependent on a device to make them more interesting. So what happens when you have to look up and socialize more than 140 characters and make real eye contact? Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
First things first: (I’m the realest… sorry couldn’t resist) PUT YOUR DAMN PHONE DOWN!
Short of an emergency, a random fire, a family portrait or needing to call a cab home… you don’t need your phone on this lovely holiday. Everyone should embrace the strangeness of your family as much as possible. No family? Embrace your bottle of wine or scotch or absinthe. Make memories that cannot be documented by strange amounts of selfies or snapchats. I definitely did the drunk snapchat route on Thanksgiving thanks to a random food fight that broke out between my stepsister and stepdad… that was… IT NEEDED TO BE DOCUMENTED AT THE TIME! We were about six bottles of champagne deep so whatever, it was fun. So this holiday? My sister has a torn ACL, can’t drink that much and has placed a limit on how much booze I am responsible for. Rude. But also a great way to sit down and play with my youngest nephew and talk shop with my older nephews about zombies and girls! Enjoy the moments that you can’t tweet about, enjoy the smiles and hugs that are from real, live people. You can’t get that on the internet.
Second things second: TEAM UP!
If your end goal is to get completely sloshed and tell your cousin that his girlfriend looks like a fatter Tom Hanks with worse hair… GO FOR IT! Just find a partner in crime. Having someone on the same level will come in handy if you get in a fight. This could be Uncle Larry that likes to recall his college years and get riproaringly drunk off Fireball with you to feel young again. This could be your great grandma that only enjoys family events so she can escape the nursing home and knock back a few scotches before going back. This could be your baby cousin that just got home from college and is just like totally over adults. Whatever your goal, there will be someone there that has the same mission. Especially if that mission is eating your weight in mashed potatoes, everyone has that goal, right?
Thirdly things third: ENJOY THE BREAK!
Embrace the time away from football with open arms. Soon, unless you are a Kansas City Chiefs fan, you will know the stress of the playoffs and the overall disappointment when your team gets destroyed in their bowl game and your season ends abruptly. Consider Christmas a trial run for the rest of the time of year when there is no such thing as football and there is no such thing as happiness and sunshine. Right, baseball is coming up and there is conference basketball but OHMIGOD NOTHING WILL REPLACE FOOTBALL OKAY!?!?!?!??! This is an excellent 12 hours tops to try the notion that life without football will be okay and almost enjoyable! You can spend time listening to your grandfather’s war stories without having to pretend to stare at the wall when you are really trying to see the football score out of your peripherals. You can get drunk with Nana and watch her take her teeth out and really boogie. You can celebrate with your new love interest’s family and silently judge them when they are as interesting as CSPAN at midnight. You can actually engage with people you would usually ignore in the presence of football on the TV.
This is a scary holiday for all of the people out there that use sports as a social crutch and have no idea how to look up from their phone. This is a scary holiday for those out there that hate the idea of small talk and refuse to talk about their religious and political views. (Don’t do it by the way) This is a scary holiday for those that are bringing home their new boyfriend/girlfriend to meet their god awful family for the first time. This is a scary holiday for pretty much everyone that doesn’t have alcohol flowing freely and a karaoke machine in the plans for their Christmas. Just remember to be kind, make solid but not too creepy eye contact and take a deep breath… Football is back on the 26th.