questionshow do you handle the inevitable family holiday…

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Self discipline goes a long way... Maybe if you set an example, your siblings will follow.

@mtm2: Personally, I think open carrying would make more of a statement.

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Go out to dinner together (sans kids if there are any) where you can be in a private room and make a lot of noise. They start telling funny stories.

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old habits die hard. perhaps find a new activity for every1 to do so that every1 is too busy to fall back into the same mutual assured destruction. or find a common enemy to unite against!

no1 no1
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Aforementioned bloody marys and beer. Or, slip a valium into the biggest irritants drink. That'll do the trick.

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Bring a horn (clown, air etc.) and honk it as soon as someone goes too far. Kind of like this: http://www.youtube.com/user/nissanusa/featured?v=V9xFgyv8BJI

The nearest member of my immediate family is at least 1000 miles away so I don't have these problems. And when we do get together it drives my girlfriend insane that we can all sit there for ten minutes and not say a word.

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@scmtim: he puts all the chips out and pulls them back and then puts 1 hahaha

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short outside breaks to look at the stars and for there to be quiet...not much to be done about other people so key for me is being even enough to not react badly.

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Speak your truth, and try not to get caught up in other people's stuff.

I bring my iPod and give some of my fav mellow stuff a listen when I feel like I'm about to go over the edge.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

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Agree with every stupid thing each other them spews. "You know, you could be right!" Every time someone criticizes something about you say "I know. It's just awful isn't it? Sometimes I just can't seem to get things right."

I guarantee this tactic will throw them so off balance and diffuse many situations. After all, how can you argue with some one when they're agreeing with you. It'll take some lip folding, tongue biting and patience, but it's worth it just to watch their confused little faces.

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I used to have lots of problems with my sister and my mother really grinding on me when I would visit the latter (sister lived close). It got to the point when I had to, as calmly as I could, tell my mother that I loved her, but that this behavior was making these visits very, very unpleasant. My time is valuable, and making the trip to see them was difficult. If this continued I would just stay home. This worked (more or less): the unpleasantness mostly ended.

I suggest that you take a similar tact with your family. If you take them on one at a time or a group depends upon what you think will work the best, but make it clear that you aren't getting any younger and that these holiday meetings which turn into verbal WWE Smackdowns are unpleasant, are raising your blood pressure and will send you to an early grave.