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A New York comic’s guide to surviving the holidays

Thanksgiving! Christmas! New year’s eve! They’re all right on your doorstep, and not everybody is excited about it. If you view this time of year as more of a hassle than a holiday, don’t worry—New York comic Liz Miele (one of our favorite acts at our Women of Comedy 2014 show earlier this month) is here to give you some tips to getting through with your sanity intact. 

Liz Miele

The holidays are a joyous time for some, but for others, they’re just something to get through. I’ve always been the, “Keep your head down and get through the holiday season” kind of person, so I’ll share some of my tricks and tactics to surviving the festive season.

Going home single (again)
Sometimes, family ask you straight out if you’re seeing someone, or they pry by asking what you’ve been doing. I try to say something offensive, disturbing or just plain weird to distract attention from the topic. If you plan it well enough, they might not talk to you at all for the whole season! With this in mind, strategize, know your audience and say something odd and messed up. Avoid politics: it causes people to react. What you want is to say something along the lines of, “I’ve been taking a lot of walks with my neighbor’s lizard and taking pot-growing classes.” Keep ‘em on their toes.

Buying gifts with money you don’t have
Don’t have money? No problem: Go to the animal shelter and pick up a free dog or cat! Holiday shopping done! Note: Buying someone an animal is only a good gift if you already know they definitely want it, or if you don't like them. Use this idea sparingly and try to get it right before the holidays—otherwise you have to feed it and stuff.

Making food and contributing to the festivities
Whether you’re in charge of making a dish or not, it’s always a good idea to bring something. I suggest you make something only you like, as this takes the pressure off you to pretend to like other people’s food. If you don’t cook, make something out of candy, like a gingerbread house, then spend the whole time destroying it by eating it. It’s never too early to have goals—why can’t yours be to eat a whole gingerbread house before dinner?

It’s not considered buying stuff for yourself if you buy it for your cat
Are we starting to see a theme here? Animals make the holidays better! The holidays are the best time of year to torture your pets by buying overpriced hats and costumes and dressing them up for your own sick pleasure. There is no better reason to go to Target or Petco than to buy a solid Santa hat with beard so my cat can bring joy to me (and only me). If you’re feeling down about the holidays, this is an instant pick-me-up!

When family hosts the event, be sure to be helpful
Or not be helpful. You do you. I like to do one super helpful thing and then nothing the rest of the time I’m home, then constantly refer back to that one thing I did do. “Hey, I’d help mopping but I’m still pretty burnt out from watering the three plants in the kitchen…sorry.”

When taking public transportation during the holiday rush always remember…
…that you are special and this is an inconvenience for you and only you. Make your feelings known. Cut lines for the bathroom and Starbucks. It’s what Santa would have wanted! You are special, and don’t let the MTA, NJ Transit or TSA tell you differently. Note: Not everyone will see it this way, so bring sound silencing headphones or earplugs.

Liz Miele’s new comedy album, Emotionally Exhausting, is released on Amazon and iTunes on December 2. Buy tickets here for the album release show and party at The Stand, 10pm, December 2.

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