As we gather with family and loved ones for the holidays, arguments are an imminent threat to the warm-hearted feelings of peace and happiness that are supposed to be on the agenda. To combat the inevitable with the help of some booze, here's a guide for what you should drink during the holidays based on what your family is fighting about. These pairings combine the topics of dispute you're most likely to encounter this 2015 holiday season, with libations of all fancies that help wash down harsh words, differences of opinion, and reminders that bigotry is still very much alive in this world.
These booze and bout pairings will mitigate the tensions surrounding your family gathering with just the right amount of buzz to get you through every brawl. For those front and center in the family face-off — making it uncomfortable for everyone else — I advise holding off from highballs entirely. But for those being subjected to the politically charged sentiments spouted out during the passing of side dishes, a little something to take the edge off never hurt. If you do get involved, you'll at least be prepared with some carefully chosen liquid courage. Read on to ensure what's in your glass is just what's prescribed for the altercation unfolding before you.
1. Arguments about cooking: Hard cider
Your best luck for surviving culinary spats this holiday season is simple: stay out of the kitchen. But if you're on sous chef duty, are the one tending the turkey, or the squabble over stuffing techniques makes its way into the living room, have some hard cider on hand. Cooking quarrels are unsolvable, unending, and probably the first round of family feuding you'll undergo during the evening. Given the permeable status of food preparation face-offs, you won't want to bring out the big guns just yet. Stick to sipping cider for just enough buzz to cool down from the heat rising in the kitchen.
2. Arguments about personal lives: Beer
The second most frequent reason for a ramble at your family gathering is delving into personal business. While Aunt Ruth and your dad are hashing it out over his latest failed investments, keep it casual with a cold one. Again, the frequency of these bouts is too high to self-medicate with something harder.
3. Arguments about your personal life: White wine
If personal prying turns into an inquisition about your employment or current relationship status, it's time to grab an oversized glass, and treat yourself to a liberal pour of Pinot. Grandma wants to know why her great grandkid count didn't immediately increase once you graduated from college? Uncork that bottle of Riesling, and don't apologize — for that, or your beautiful childless self.
4. Arguments about the elections: Spiked eggnog
This holiday season will be fraught with election commentary. Unless you, your parents, your siblings, every aunt, uncle, and cousin in the room, and grandma and grandpa too, all share the exact same political persuasions and worldview, there will be disagreement over who should be the next president. Knowing your arguments will never convince Great Uncle Gary to vote outside the political party he's identified with for the last 63 years, sit back and tune out all debate disputes and candidate controversy. The creaminess of the eggnog will warm your cold heart, and keep you from overdoing it so early in the evening.
5. Arguments about the legalization of marijuana: Champagne
If the legality of cannabis incites a generational clash, pop open a bottle of bubbly and cheers your likeminded cousins while your well-intentioned elders exchange scientific findings and statistics amongst themselves.
6. Arguments about the state of the world: Red wine
When the discussion starts getting serious, and seriously uncomfortable, go for a pour of Cabernet sauvignon. It will calm the fury that otherwise might erupt from Aunt Susan's ignorant asides, but will also keep you level-headed enough to correct any brazenly ill-informed accusations.
7. Arguments about gun control: Rum
Spare yourself the emotional flare-up you'll likely undergo listening to your increasingly belligerent relatives debate about gun control. Take a breather from the horrible insensitivity you'll overhear while they hash it out with a tropical escape in the form of a spiced rum concoction. You can stand by your beliefs without ruining the evening and all forthcoming family gatherings.
8. Arguments about football: Whatever's left
By the time everyone's survived dinner and all the arguments that ensued from the moment they took off their coats to their very last piece of pumpkin pie, you'd think even the most belligerent of company would be too worn out to carry on with anymore conflict. Alas, once Uncle Jerry's favorite team is facing off against their all-time rival, of which Uncle Harry happens to be a die-hard fan, so begins another beef in front of the big screen as players toss the pigskin around. Feel free to grab a glass of whatever's left. At this point of the evening, the most well-advised beverage might be water.
The best you can do through the exhausting evening is to be grateful to be with loved ones (aided by a libation of your choosing). If only real life holiday family gatherings were capable of such a miracle as imagined by SNL.
Happy holidays, and good luck!
For more boozy Thanksgiving ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: NBC; Giphy (9)