Helpful holiday tips

Helpful holiday tips

by Rob Stewart

For some students going home for the holidays is a pleasantRockwellian experience.

For others it is a journey comparable to Dante’s, though yourchildhood home probably doesn’t contain nine levels.

Returning home for the holidays can be a source of stress andtension in a student’s life, regardless of which circumstance abovebest describes your annual homecoming.

That is why I have devoted this week’s column to a set ofhelpful tips that will assure as picturesque a homecoming aspossible.

The first of my helpful tips is pretty obvious, but has none theless ruined many a holiday; religious, bank or otherwise.

Cover up or camouflage any tattoos or piercings unknown to yourfamily.

I can’t stress this enough.

You might be used to the ex-significant other’s name on yourshoulder, the dancing naked lady on your forearm, or even the shinynew chain connecting your eyebrow, nipple, and genitalpiercings.

However, remember that these new piercings, or simply the factthat you felt the need to connect them all, may give your poorsainted mother a heart attack.

While helpful tip number one can get you into the door withoutincident, helpful tip number two promises to make dinner timeconversation a little easier.

Leave your newly found political allegiance at school.

Some parents impart on their children, at a very early age, anallegiance to a particular political party.

Who knows, maybe the kid sitting next to you at the CollegeDemocrats meeting used to be Daddy’s little republican.

Conversely maybe the Bill O’Reilly fan across the hall grew upin a commune.

Either way a shift in political beliefs, for rebellious purposesor otherwise, can cause some familial friction.

Try to avoid the topic entirely or at least divulge yourphilosophies carefully.

Don’t burst through the front door wearing hemp pants and accuseyour grandma of being a fascist.

In the same token don’t divorce your parents for votingNadar.

The same rules apply for newly joined cults.

Helpful tip number three is all about saving face.

Don’t be the comes-back-to-high- school-parties-kid. Nobdoywants to be that guy.

You may want to hang out with old high school buddies still inthe trenches but be careful which parties you attend.

A good rule of thumb is if kids run from you mistaking you for aparty crashing parent or other authority figure, it’s time toleave.

Helpful tip number four aims at giving you, the overworkedscholar that you are, your much deserved holiday rest.

Don’t procrastinate on papers, projects, or assignments untilthe holiday weekend. Though tempting in the present, this is a surefire way to create a tense and stressful holiday.

You don’t want to be asking grandpa to hurry and finish his warstory because you have a paper to write.

Finally the fifth and most important of all my helpful holidaytips.

Do not, I repeat, do not share any of your outlandish orinappropriate college antics with brothers or sisters still livingat home.

No matter how cool or hip you think they are; they are yoursiblings.

Brothers and sisters sometimes fight.

During a spat, a particularly vengeful sibling may justaccidentally let mom or dad know about the time that you_______.

Fill in the blank with whatever general debauchery that youlike.

This is obviously not an appealing thought, as even the mostmild mannered college student has probably done something that isnot exactly G-rated.

I hope that these tips have been helpful and entertaining.

Or at least it can serve as something to wipe the mashedpotatoes off your face after a vicious family food fight.

Happy Thanksgiving.