Holiday Survival Guide
The holidays can be uncomfortable, difficult and downright awkward, but we're here to help you navigate it
The holidays can be uncomfortable, difficult and downright awkward. So Out in the Open's got your back with this hour all about how to survive the season... from dealing with family differences to reconciling who you are with what the holidays demand of you.
Here are the stories from this week's episode...
Your social calendar is never more full than in December. And mingling with strangers can be awkward at the best of times. Thankfully, writer and humorist Henry Alford is here to save you from social faux pas with his advice on how to handle the nuances of human behaviour at holiday parties.
Jim Shedden is an alcoholic. His wife Shellie is not. Together, they throw a raging bash every New Year's Eve, full of abstainers and imbibers alike, with plenty of booze flowing throughout the night. They both sit down with Piya to offer wisdom on how drinkers and teetotalers should accommodate the other during a time of heightened indulgence.
Many of us have been there: You go home for the holidays, catch up with extended family... then all of a sudden, someone drops a racist quip like it's no big thing. Writer Justin C. Cohen characterises the various family members you can expect to meet, and how to handle their varying shades of prejudice.
For many, Christmas is a time spent with family. In 2009, Elizabeth Berrien didn't have that luxury. Shortly before the holidays, she experienced a stillbirth... and her soldier husband died in the war in Afghanistan. Elizabeth tells Piya what she learned from her first Christmas after loss... and how you can approach a loved one in a similar situation.
How do you handle the omnipresent Christmas spirit when you're not Christian? A Muslim, a Jew and an atheist Sikh sit down with a Hindu (Piya) to share their coping strategies for this religious-cum-secular occasion.
Nerissa Martin's father is an alcoholic and is physically abusive. Even though she moved out long ago, Nerissa still spends Christmas with her parents. But if her father starts to act in a way that makes Nerissa uncomfortable, she has an escape plan. Nerissa talks about the anxiety around spending time around her father during the holidays.