The holidays are a special time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, we’re not just bombarded by work holiday parties, but also with many a family obligation. For many, this is the one time of year where they actually see their entire family — aunts, uncles, cousins, the works — as everyone gets together to sit around the dinner table and tries to play nice. But the truth is that niceties only last so long. And then the family drama begins.
When you get that many people in a room, there’s bound to be drama, tears, and maybe even the occasional thrown plate of mashed potatoes at the wall, if things really get heated. I have always found that when things get hairy, drinking helps — and it helps a lot. Call it immaturity or a coping mechanism, but the right beverage can really make the holidays a little brighter.
With the hours counting down until Thanksgiving, here’s what you’re going to need to have on tap at this year’s festivities. So each time a situation gets weird, reach for the only drink that can do it justice.
YOUR AUNT ASKS WHY YOU’RE STILL SINGLE (AGAIN)
VERDICT: SHOT OF WHISKEY
Because “a pretty girl like you should easily be able to find a man” is probably one of the most insulting things someone can say. You also know that if you’re still single next year you’ll be hearing the same bullshit again, so only whiskey will do.
YOUR BROTHER ANNOUNCES THAT HE'S MARRYING THAT WOMAN the whole family thinks IS THE WORST
VERDICT: BAILEYS ON ICE
It's all about pacing yourself. And since this situation is far more entertaining than the ones that involve you, Baileys is a great option. What isn't so great? He's asking your mother for your grandmother's engagement ring so he can propose, and mom is crying in the bathroom.
YOUR COUSIN TELLS YOU THAT YOU DON'T LOOK THAT OLD
Let’s be honest: It's probably the closest thing to a compliment you're going to get all day. You might as well celebrate now.
YOUR GRANDFATHER KEEPS STARING AT YOU BLANKLY, UNABLE TO REMEMBER YOUR NAME
VERDICT: VODKA SODA
You’re not sure if it’s dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s, but either way, it’s making you sad. Nothing in the world drowns out sadness and makes you forget quite like vodka. (Well, except maybe tequila. But you don't want to mess with that.)
YOUR UNCLE GETS DRUNK AND INSULTS YOUR AUNT'S COOKING
VERDICT: RED WINE
Part of you wants to celebrate, because she’s already insulted you today. But then there’s another part of you that can't bear to watch someone be so blatantly humiliated in a public setting. Sure, her cooking is the worst, but no one needs to say it. It’s a tough call, but one that will eventually call for red wine.
DAD TELLS YOUR Date MID-DINNER THAT THEY'RE SLEEPING ON THE COUCH
Ugh. Please note that I'm not talking about some weak pale ale, but something that will provide you with the necessary gumption to tell your dad that you're a damn adult already.
YOUR SISTER ADMITS TO YOU THAT SHE SLEPT WITH YOUR COLLEGE BOYFRIEND after you broke up
VERDICT: WHITE WINE
You want to be mad, but you really can't be, because you were never that crazy about him. On the other hand, she was the one who told you over and over again how awful he was, so you can't help but wonder what the hell may have been wrong with her, besides the fact that she was only 21. Well, you're going to want to take the high road here. Because you're the classy one. Where's the white? Who has the damn white wine?!
YOUR MOM ASKS YOU WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO "MAKE her A GRANDMA, ALREADY"
VERDICT: BOURBON, STRAIGHT UP
Nothing says "Back away from my the questions about my uterus" quite like reaching for the strong stuff, skipping the ice, and downing it like a pro. When you're done, reach for another, because that will answer your mom's question in itself.
YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART DECIDES TO "JUST DROP BY" FOR A VISIT
VERDICT: SPIkED EGG NOG
There's always the chance of running into someone from your past if you're back in your hometown — especially your somewhat stalker ex who "just dropped by." Eggnog is both a festive and delicious way to getting even tipsier while handling this doozy. Seriously — what were they thinking?!
YOUR UNCLE ASKS YOUR COUSIN WHEN SHE'S GOING TO GET A "REAL" JOB
Ever since your cousin pursued her dreams to be an artist, your uncle (her father) has taken every opportunity he can to inquire about when she'll be getting a "real" job. As someone who also doesn't have a "real" job in his eyes, you know you're up next, so make your way to the kitchen and start preparing your martini, stat. Also make your cousin one to show her your artistic solidarity.
a GAME OF TOUCH FOOTBALL ENDS UP WITH your date accidentally giving your dad A BLOODY NOSE
VERDICT: TEQUILA (LOTS OF IT)
I mean, the man should have known better to turn touch football into tackle football with your father. Just grab the bottle of tequila and go upstairs. It's time for a nap.