71°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fun things to do with family during the holidays

%26%23160%3BBased+on+the+style+of+Cyanide+and+Happiness.
Bianca Oppedisano
Based on the style of Cyanide and Happiness. Written by Nick Collins and illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but holiday music is now considered ‘soft rock.’ That’s why it’s been playing on Magic 106.7 all the time for the past month. In case you couldn’t figure it out by now, with Andy Williams and Michael Bublé reminding us all the time, the holiday season is upon us! Now, I understand that this may scare some of you, and I’m not saying this because the year felt shorter than Conan O’Brien’s tenure on the Tonight Show, but because I’m aware that some people are claustrophobic and are afraid of Santa Claus.

Look, I get that some people are anxious and are having restless nights over the thought of Tim Allen, and how he may or may not show up at your front door one day asking for cookies and milk, but it’s nothing to be afraid of! Plus, he doesn’t need the extra sugar anyway, he’ll be able to gain the weight back on his own by mid-December. But hey, if you want to show how thoughtful you are, leave it out on your front doorstep, and he’ll know it’s for him. Plus, it would save you from coming face to face with him, to which he’ll start awkwardly grunting at you—something he enjoys for one reason or another. I’m just waiting for him to realize that that’s the reason why some people are afraid of him.

That being said, you don’t have to worry about the appearance of Allen if you you’re staying with family for the holidays, or do you? I guess the jury’s out on that one, so unless Santa decides to give your grandfather a heart attack with his grunting, here are a multitude of things you can do while hanging out with the people you adore.

Being with your family over the holidays can easily provide laughter and joy when you play games. With the emergence of technology over the last few years, some games are now accessible online, or in the metaverse. Just don’t give in to the urge to superglue your virtual reality headset onto your Uncle Ricky, who’s passed out on the couch—you’ll give him a panic attack when he wakes up. It’s already hilarious enough that you drew facial hair on him with a sharpie to fill in his patchy beard and balding head.

After you’re done being a menace to society, you may realize that online games get boring after a while. Cards Against Humanity, not to be confused with the raunchy and profane version called Apples to Apples, may be the top choice to pull out at a family reunion. This game can help unleash creativity, while also giving your intrusive thoughts free reign for the night. It’s perfect for ramping up the vibe at the kids’ table, but some relatives may not enjoy playing. I get it, though—it’s hard to be funny on command. Instead, you could hold off on displaying how much of a comedic genius you are by engaging in some banter with your family in much-needed discussions on current polarizing societal issues.

You could sit between your Uncle Johnny and Aunt Steph, who canceled out each other’s votes in the elections. They may rub it in your face that Reagan canceled their loan debt, but you can rub it in their face that their kid didn’t qualify for Biden’s. If you’ve had enough of those two, you could sit next to Uncle Tom and play dress up, while wearing matching tin foil hats. He might invite you out to his cabin in Nevada for the fifth year in a row, and I recommend you finally take him up on it.

Hopefully, he won’t read you 1984 as you doze off or makw bigfoot noises to lure a monster out though. That would be your cue to run into the open desert as far and as fast as you can. You’d better hope you’re not stopped by the CIA, because that would only further his descent into madness. Even worse, he could catch up to you and be disappointed once that you don’t have the makings of a varsity athlete.

Well, say you could prove it to him. There’s always the tradition of playing football with your family. Your cousin might have ulterior motives to try and hit you harder than an NFL safety and start bragging about being the top player in middle school. His delusions could lead him to embody the idea that he’s the second coming of Rudy. You could let him have his moment for the time being, but this might be your only chance to get payback for all the times he did the Oklahoma drill with you—despite the ten-year age gap.

Be wary though; don’t let him embarrass you by pushing you into his father and breaking your uncle’s hip…again. Your cousin will probably blame you for every time he slips on the wet grass, but there’s no hard feelings, right? Right?!

After all is said and done and everybody’s back inside, you could break out the ancient home videos. Home videos bring about serotonin and serendipity with all the heartfelt nostalgia from the past unfolding in front of your eyes. Who knows, maybe there will be some footage of the wedding between your divorced parents. It could be a sight to see if you get to witness the contempt and tension build up in newer videos, and you could reminisce on the one relatable book you read in high school: Things Fall Apart. You could feel down in the dumps in the moment, but remember that you’ll be getting twice the amount of presents as everyone else, and let’s face it, who would say no to that?

So, whether it’s having dinner on Thanksgiving or doing a Yankee Swap during the respective holiday that coincides with your dogma, time spent with family during the holidays is time well spent. These people are the ones who will always be there for you, and family truly is everything. That is until the VR headset dies, and you take it off, look in the mirror and realize that these people are sociopaths and that you’ve turned into your Uncle Ricky, hair transplant and all.

About the Contributors
Nick Collins, Sports Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator