Don’t Have A Merry Meltdown

by Becca Jennings

Let’s face it. The holidays are a time of good tidings, great cheer…and even greater stress. In Straight White Men, the festivities are unexpectedly suspended when son Matt is brought to tears, putting a confusing damper on the family’s Christmas celebration.

Here’s a list of seven things inspired by the play that are guaranteed to up the stress level this holiday season. In the interest of avoiding a merry meltdown of your own, we recommend avoiding doing these things at all costs.

Insist on talking politics at the dinner table: It’s much safer to rejoice in a “Silent Night” than to breach the political sphere.

Bring a really complicated, long board game and insist everyone plays it: “It only takes a couple hours to set up, then I promise you’ll really love it! Has anyone seen the ten-sided yellow dice?”

Tell your relatives what you really think of them: You’ve been holding back for years. Just turn up the volume on the Hallmark channel re-runs, and any unsolicited advice on your cooking, holiday decor, or general life decisions, should subside…at least until the next commercial break.

Break out the old nicknames: Remember you’re all adults now. No need to bring up the tormenting times of yesteryear.

Cry into your pie: Mop up those tears and sweeten your holiday with an extra serving of dessert before you’re beholden to regrets and resolutions come New Year’s.

Don’t over-indulge: Take it easy on the eggnog, now. It doesn’t take much Christmas “spirit” to get the familial sparring started.

Test out all the gifts you’ve bought for people before wrapping them up: We know how excited you are about the presents you’ve picked. But be forewarned. Best to let the recipients open them first, before you share in the joy. Accidents happen!

Straight White Men is now playing in FST’s Keating Theatre. For tickets, call (941) 366-9000 or click here.

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