Are you a writer, stressed about facing the family over the Holidays? We have instant stress relief for you in the form of Writers’ Family Holiday Bingo
For many writers, the holidays are especially difficult.
It’s not just that we’re hoping our Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa romance ebook will be published in time to catch the holiday sales. It’s not just that many of us have an artist’s budget and a shopping list that extends downstairs.
Picture this: You’re at the family gathering trying to decide between Uncle Jerry’s stuffing (or latkes) and Grandma’s. Someone who is already into the spiked eggnog/Kedem/schnapps approaches you and says, “Well, if it isn’t Shakespeare. You written any best-sellers yet?” Then proceeds to criticize your career choice.
Or some well-meaning aunt refers to you as “the odd duck of the family, you know, the writer.”
Or even though everyone is nice, people talk to you as if you’re from Mars or you were adopted and no one bothered to tell you. If you have children, they’re pretending they were adopted. Take the typical stress people feel at family gatherings and crank it up to ten. Before long you’ve eaten the whole pan of stuffing/tray of latkes. Even if you come from “The royal Tenenbaums,” you still feel out of place. Especially if you live with your parents.
Granted, this is the sort of dynamic that inspired “Seinfeld” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”. However, when you’re trying to find comfort and joy, family strife can sour the eggnog. Unless you relish the drama and amp it up, even if the remarks come from a place of misunderstanding rather than meanness–you know, the type that brings well-intended aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings to ask Cousin Patty, every single gathering, why she hasn’t gotten married yet (and miss the subtle or not-so reminders to mind their own business.)
Some of us at THGM (ahem) are fortunate enough to have supportive families and possibly come from a line of creative people. For those who find being a writer uncomfortable during the holidays, we culled all the stories we’ve heard from friends and created this handy Writers Family Holiday Bingo game to make those awkward moments a little easier, or at least allow you to get through the gathering without an incident straight out of Jerry Springer. “Next Up: My Daughter Is a Writer!”
Writers’ Family Holiday Bingo Rules
- Check off each square that applies to you, as discreetly as you can.
- Feel free to use wine, glitter, kids’ crayon, bits of mashed potato, or whatever will suffice to mark off the squares.
- For every square, add one minute to whatever writing time you can seize while surrounded by family.
- When you get five in a row, don’t call out “Bingo”. Or do, if you really don’t care what your family thinks. You’re The Writer–you’re supposed to be strange.
- Make copies for all the family gatherings and pass extras out to your writer friends to remind them they’re not alone.
- The prize is surviving the family vacation/reunion/gathering while keeping your calm and perhaps even enjoying the festivities. After all, you are the dreamer–dream big.
Note: No actual family members were named in the writing of this blog post.