Imagine what life would be like without them. Just like Kevin wished his family would disappear in Home Alone and then when it actually happened regretted it, picturing your family was suddenly gone might help you deal with them a bit more. Even if the cousins are noisy, the aunts are nosey and your grandma is judgy.
When things get too crazy, step aside quietly. Take some time for yourself to calm down and let the rage ease away.
Try to control your emotions. It’s hard not to roll your eyes or have a sassy comeback to annoying conversations, but taking a moment to catch yourself before you do it will make the night less awkward. Look at pictures of puppies and imagine they’re snuggling you in that very moment.
Introduce the family to a new game everyone can participate in. This takes the pressure off having to have awkward conversations and instead the focus shifts to who can guess what animal/celebrity you’re impersonating–or whatever game you’re playing.
Interview the kids. Really, this can actually be super entertaining. Little kids say the most hilarious things and taking the time to catch up with your younger cousins is a great way to lighten things up. Questions you can ask that almost always have a hilarious answer: Who is your best friend? What happened with your last best friend? What’s your favorite game to play? How did you learn to play that? What’s your least favorite vegetable?
Bring a backup gift. It will work either for the person you forgot to get a gift for or in case your sibling decides to bring their boyfriend/girlfriend last minute. It’s a great way to ensure you didn’t miss anyone and, in turn avoid an awkward moment.