Ah, Christmas. A time for giving, sharing and spending time with your family. But, the annual get-together with close and not-so-close relatives doesn't always go down as sweetly as your second cousin's trifle. Small talk with people you haven't seen in 365 days can be awkward, so here's your Christmas lunch conversation survival guide:
- They say: "So, tell me, why aren't you married yet?"
You haven't even made it through your first plate yet and already your uncle is testing you with this invasive question. So what if you haven't been able to maintain a relationship all year? That's none of his business. While you might be tempted to politely put him in his place, remember that it's early days yet -– you still have to make it through a second plate and pudding.
Your strategy: Deflect
Here's where your knowledge of Internet memes comes in handy. Remember the National Geographic video of a penguin love triangle, who would've thought it would save you?
"Uncle, speaking of marriage, did you know penguins mate for life? There was a video of a love triangle featuring some penguins not too long ago. Here, let me show you the video...."
- They say: "When are you having a baby?"
Yikes. You've only just learned to "adult" and now you're being asked about parenting. While this is pretty standard stuff faced by most over-25s with a nosey aunt, we know it isn't easy to answer. Instead of getting annoyed with your aunt, laugh it off –- after all, she makes the best fried chicken in the family.
Your strategy: Laugh
You might not be in the mood, but you can easily diffuse this scenario with a wisecrack.
"Aunty, I read an article that says it costs over R1-million to raise a baby until matric. When you win the Lotto, you can pass me some winnings, and we'll name the baby after you!"
- They say: "Did you know my son just finished his PhD? What are you doing with your life?"
Ok, your aunt didn't really say "what are you doing with your life?", but that's what you heard. After all, your cousin is flourishing, while you're stuck in a job you hate. We don't blame you for wanting to be petty. Go ahead, indulge.
Your strategy: Throw shade, but ever so lightly.
"That's absolutely amazing, I must SMS him when I get a chance. It's a pity there aren't that many jobs for people who've researched 18th century vases, but I'll definitely ask around for him!"
- They say: "The (insert political party here) is really messing up. I think we should (insert unsolicited political opinion here)"
You're not scared to voice your political opinion, but that's for your friends, your blog, or Twitter feed. Debating your great-grandfather isn't part of your Christmas plans. The last thing you want to do is offend him with your political differences. Our advice? Play it safe. Ask a question, listen intently, and save your opinion for your Twitter rant on 26 December.
Your strategy: Listen
"What would you do to improve the situation...."
These tips were provided by King Price Insurance. Need more conversation fodder? Why not tell your relatives about the car insurance savings they can make with King Price Insurance?