When You’re home for the hol­i­days

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - You, You, You -

1 Get in­volved En­gage in your fam­ily gath­er­ings the way the grown-ups do. A sev­enyear-old doesn’t make a side dish or de­light her rel­a­tives with charm­ing con­ver­sa­tion—but you’re not seven so it’s time to show it. Peo­ple could look for­ward to your car­bonara the way they do Tita Martha’s bread pud­ding. “No store-bought cake in a plas­tic box,” says Ellen*, 33. “Learn to make a few dishes your fam­ily likes.” And ac­cord­ing to Tay­lor, spend­ing time with your par­ents, aunts, cousins, and grand­par­ents—and ask­ing about their lives, not just talk­ing about yours—shows that you are a full par­tic­i­pant in the hol­i­day, not a kid ex­pect­ing to be waited on. 2 Don’t treat your par­ents’ house like you be­long there Be­cause you don’t. At least not the way you did when you lived there. Fol­low nor­mal house­guest niceties—pick up af­ter your­self, re­spect your par­ents’ rou­tines, buy some gro­ceries and send flow­ers af­ter your stay. In­di­cate that you don’t ex­pect free room and board. Chil­dren are en­ti­tled to those things; adults are not. You are an adult. Think of it this way: if you wouldn’t do it while stay­ing at a friend’s place, don’t do it at your par­ents’.

3 Stop the but­ton­push­ing

Here’s a fun game: name five ver­bal Molo­tov cock­tails—you know, top­ics that are guar­an­teed to start a fight if you toss them into a con­ver­sa­tion with your fam­ily. This year, men­tion none of them. Forget how right you are and/or how wrong your par­ents are—just skip it. Ac­count man­ager Teresa*, 29, of­ten reroutes the con­ver­sa­tion. “If my dad or mom starts on a land-mine topic, I sweetly bring up some­thing they’re ex­cited about.” This isn’t to say that real is­sues should be swept un­der the rug and never talked about—but Christ­mas din­ner is not the time or place. Face it: you’re not go­ing to change your un­cle’s views by scream­ing at him over dessert, so rather opt for har­mony and ma­tu­rity.

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