Tips to help recreate the dread of seeing your family over winter break, from home!

Content Warning: Sexual harassment

Every year when December rolls around and finals season ends, McGill students have only one thing in mindwinter break. Sadly, due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns, we know many of you are unable to head home to see your families this year. Fortunately, we have developed a list of tips and tricks to help you simulate the winter break experience from the comfort of your own dorm or apartment.

For starters, whether you’re stuck in residence or a seven-person commune, you can create a festive atmosphere anywhere. We recommend you hang up colourful lights, turn up some Christmas songs, apply makeup to cover your tattoos, remove your piercings, and put on that one degenerate sweater that color-blind Aunt Gladys got you. Remember: Nothing says “Christmas spirit” like silly decorations and the deep, profound dread of disappointing your family!

Homesick and missing conversations with your dad? Go eat dinner, and while you do, have your roommate sit and watch you eat in absolute silence. When you reach for more food, wait for them to raise an eyebrow and ask if you’re sure you want to eat it.

“What are you actually going to do with that major?” is just one of the many fun conversation topics you’ll cover, in addition to, “Isn’t it about time you got a job?” and “Why is everyone TRANSGENDER nowadays?”

Of course, nothing beats the bliss of reading with the gentle sounds of your mom cooking in the background. To recreate the experience, have your early-riser friend get up at 5:00 a.m. and just fucking clang 50 pots in your kitchen! She doesn’t even have to cook, she simply has to clang, bang, and crash that shit like it’s Armageddon and she’s trying to single-handedly beat 382 tin-men to a metallic pool of silver guts with one noisy-ass ladle! After all, she does need to find her favourite bowl. 

And who could forget your lovely siblings. Miss having your sister around? Put up a “thrift shop” sign in your closet! Nostalgic for your brother? Replace the Glade in your bathroom with Axe cologne!

Immediate family is great—but what about extended family? Missing your uncle? Call Steve Who Sold You Weed That One Time! That will remind you of how he is always sure to hug you for just a little too long and a little too low. And no one is more fun to play with than your energetic little cousins! Luckily, Apple has recently created an alarm app that keeps you alert with the sound of three small children screaming and goes off right when you sit down to get work done. It also features cool tracks like 14 hard knocks on your door, the sound of a soccer ball being kicked around an apartment, and the hit single Got Any Games On That?

Everyone likes watching their obviously gay cousin squirm in their seat at the dinner table. Thankfully, if you’re the gay cousin, you can replicate those horribly uncomfortable conversations with the snap of a finger. Call a friend, who can stop by your dorm to help you rehearse your repertoire of lines!

“I’m just focusing on school right now,” “Well, it’s cheaper if it’s one bedroom,” and “Georgia should totally recount the votes!” are among the most popular.

At the end of the day, we know that the holidays are tough without your family around. So hopefully, whenever you feel homesick, you can try out some of our tricks to remind you of the reason you stayed home this year—your family.

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