Of course you should be happy to come home for the holidays to spend time with the people you love. But maybe, just maybe, there’s something keeping you from fully embracing this wonderful and joyous time.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; the holidays are often synonymous with parental interrogations. And who could blame your reluctance to approach the table, really? The only thing keeping your holiday dinners from turning into CIA-grade cross-examinations is the fact your mom hasn’t resorted to waterboarding you…yet. So if you’re tired of answering “no” to most of their questions and feeling like a failure, we’ve got the advice you’ve been waiting for.

Have You Met Anyone Special?

Ah, this good ol’ conversation starter is guaranteed to be asked at least once during any family dinner. FYI, “I meet special people all the time on Tinder” isn’t the best choice. Also beware, the question can come in different variations such as, “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” or “Getting married anytime soon?” Sometimes the most difficult thing about answering this question is realizing you’re alone, with no significant other and with nothing to look forward to in life, but don’t let this discourage you!

The best way to answer this question is to lie and say, “Yes, in fact, I’m seeing four different people…simultaneously! I’m all about multitasking.” Remember, you can avoid any follow-up questions by jumping ship and heading to an isolated snack station to muffle your sobs with food.

Do You Have a Real Job Yet?

You have to remember most of the older folk at your family dinner come from a time where jobs were handed out like welfare. Otherwise they wouldn’t be asking these ridiculous questions, right? If you come upon this dreaded question, you can easily wiggle out with one of two options:

  • Option 1 – Make some ridiculous and false statement such as, “If you do what you love, the money will follow.” However, this will most definitely be seen as a sign of weakness by your loved ones, but there’s always option 2!
  • Option 2 – This option allows you to be a little more assertive and it even gives you a chance to be snarky. Simply answer with, “Sorry pops, I know you wanted me to join the family business, but failing companies just aren’t my thing.”

If you choose to go with Option 2, make sure you know where the nearest exit is located.

Will You Be Moving Back Home?

“No.”

The Bottom-Line

The truth is questions will pop up no matter how hard you try to avoid them or how prepared you are to nip the situation in the bud. Should this keep you from enjoying your holidays? Not one bit! There’s still food to enjoy and alcohol to dull the pain. Just do your best to be vague, hold your head up high, liberally enjoy the libations, catch a cab home and sleep it off.