The season of taking the horseless carriage over the Mississippi River and through the Pillsbury State Forest/woods is nearing. Does that make you clinch up?

I've been fortunate to not have every family gathering be a repeating exercise in Festivus grievance airing. In fact, I don't remember a single instance involving feats of strength. It's a Festivus Miracle!

Others aren't as fortunate as me. Here's how to cope with a family gathering that feels more like War Games than Reindeer Games.

Sometimes you've gotta just walk away (Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash)
Sometimes you've gotta just walk away (Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash)
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#1: Be a Duck (Duck, Grey Duck)

Does it feel great to just let the crazy uncle go on and on (and on) and on (...) about the latest dark web conspiracy theory clogging up his brain? No. Does it feel better - relatively speaking - than trying to shut him up? Yes. Trust me, he'll just wear you down.

What the heck do I mean by, "Be a Duck"? Treat his nonsense like a duck in the rain: let it just roll off your back instead of sticking to you, which will weigh you down. You don't need any additional weight after mowing through those mashed potatoes, do you? No.

#2: Let's Go Crazy (With Carbs)

Perhaps the best response to family drama is to simply be zonked out while it rages on. Carbs paired with protein (taters and turkey) will make you sleepy. Perfect!

#3: Take a Skol Break

Things getting heated? Is a family member going outside for a smoke or a dip? Follow them (as long as they're not the cause of the drama). Even a brief respite can save your sanity.

If none of those work, try:

#4: The Minnesota Goodbye

Our process of leaving is legendary. The Irish Goodbye means you leave without telling anybody. The Minnesota Goodbye usually starts with a slap of the legs followed by, "Welp, we should head out". There's something ingrained in Minnesotans' DNA that immediately shifts our focus when The Minnesota Goodbye is invoked. You're still going to be there for at least an hour, so use this to your advantage and shift the mood from perilous to pleasant, because we absolutely have to make sure whoever's leaving knows that we should get together more often and to watch out for deer.

Photo by Praveen Thirumurugan on Unsplash
Checkmate, Uncle Clarence! Photo by Praveen Thirumurugan on Unsplash
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