Picture a warm, holiday get-together. You and your siblings have traveled to your parents' house to share an evening of merrymaking and fond memories. The kids are reveling in their holiday loot, and as you all sit down for a delicious dinner, everything feels right with the world.
As the conversation (and wine) begins to flow, your parents share some news.
Your dad is getting married!
Apparently, your parents have been separated for two years but kept up a charade of still living together during holiday get-togethers. But Dad has since met a new woman — whom he assures you'll love — and gotten engaged.
While that sounds like an awkward scene out of a comedic movie, it happened as written, a crowdsourced situation from Chatter's call for awkward holiday encounters.
It may be a bit more tense than other awkward situations, but when relatives come together in close proximity and are all dealing with the stressors that arise with the hurried holiday season, foot-in-mouth moments are bound to happen. It's inevitable.
The real question, then, is how do you defuse those uncomfortable silences and keep the holiday train chugging along? Chatter has compiled a list of delicate situations that may arise and how you can overcome them. Results (not) guaranteed!
Your parents say to your married, childless sister, "It's been a few years now. When can we expect some grandkids?"
"I don't want anyone else to have to suffer through Chuck E. Cheese's and endless 'Frozen' songs in the car."
Someone asks you, in your mid-30s, if you've finally started seeing someone.
"Well, I just joined ChristianMingle.com, so my hopes are up."
An uncle complains during the Thanksgiving football games about players not standing for the national anthem.
"With how [insert team] has been playing, it looks like they'll be taking a knee during the first half, too."
Your uncle loudly curses around the kids because his team is playing poorly.
"This is where not standing for the national anthem will get you. And you'll be getting all the kids ice cream later with your contribution to the swear jar."
Your vegetarian cousin makes a rude remark about the Thanksgiving turkey.
"When Thanksgiving is at your house next year, I'm sure we'll all enjoy the delicious Tofurky creation you'll serve."
Someone brings up your younger cousin recently coming out as gay.
"I think we all have skeletons in our closet. His just happens to like men."
Comments are made about your sister's diet plan and how it's going.
"Considering all the food we're about to eat, I'm not sure any of us are going to be in a place to judge."
Your family uncorks the wine around your recently sober sister.
"The wine they just opened isn't even fit for Communion. What else can I get you?"
Your mom has had a few too many glasses of red wine and is making everyone aware of that fact.
Point out the time and how if she wants to make those Black Friday sales events in the morning, she should get some sleep. Her inevitable hangover will be your dad's problem.
Your uncle asks you when you're finally going to start making money with your degree.
"Looking at my student loans bill, I'd say in about 15 years."
The cook burns the turkey or ham.
"If you wanted to keep us here longer, I'm sure there were easier ways to make that happen."
Your brother didn't bring anything to the potluck, even after he said he would.
"Hey, everyone! Don't worry about dishes later, [brother's name] just said he'd take care of it. Way to get into the holiday spirit, bro!"
The dog starts humping your leg and no one moves to do anything.
If your aunt complains about you shoving the dog away too harshly, ask her to offer up her leg next time.
Your ex-spouse shows up unannounced with his or her new partner.
Introduce them to the dog.