Only the Strong Survive: 7 Ways to Survive the Holidays When Your Family Visits NYC

So you're family's in the city for the holidays, huh? 

We've made impassioned pleas for this. We asked for this. There's no reason you should leave the city in December, the month of incredible food, winter wonderlands, and an almost incomprehensible amount of holiday cheer.

So you've asked your family to come to New York City instead of the other way around, and now you have to deal with it.

We have some ideas for how you can survive. First of all, they need to stay in a hotel. If they're in your apartment, crowding your space, there's no chance you'll make it through.

Luckily, NYC has plenty of festive hotels. If you get them shacked up in one of these, you'll be able to experience the hotel's grandeur and take a break from your family when you need. Talk about two birds.

Read on two learn more about how to survive your family's visit to NYC this holiday season.

1. Have a plan

chelseadinsmore New York nights... #christmasinnyc

The whole visit will be much more stressful if everyone is wondering what to do all the time. 

If you have no plan, you'll wake up on the morning of Saturday the 26th wondering, what should we do? Where should we eat?


Inevitably, this will result in arguments. It will result in everyone thinking they know best about where to go instead of relying on you, the New Yorker-- the one who'd actually know which place has the best pizza in the city.

If you've got everything all scheduled out though, there will be no dispute about what's going to happen. This will drastically reduce conflict.

2. Get tickets in advance

turtlescar Oh the #perils of split ticketing... #travel #manchester #tickets

Part of having a plan-- the thing that will really cement your plan into place --is to purchase tickets to corroborate your plan.

You won't be able to spend hours in the Nintendo store in Rockefeller Center to appease your little cousin if you've already got tickets to a show during that time. Do you see what we're saying?

So now, the question comes about what you should buy tickets for. There are plenty of stellar holiday shows being staged in this city for the season. There's, of course, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. There's The Nutcracker, and A Christmas Carol

Get tickets to these shows. The better the show, the better mood everyone will be in. Plus, it'll get everyone worked up with holiday cheer.

3. Stay busy

thanyajah Christmas in #NYC 2015 #RockefellerCenter 🎄

Conflicts tend to break out in the midst of stagnancy. When you're sitting around, nothing to do, everybody staring at each other-- that's when your family will start coming at you with those irking questions

Questions like, "Are you dating anyone?" Or, "How's your money situation?" Or, "Are you done being gay yet?"


If you're too busy twirling around NYC's skating rinks, or browsing the staggeringly beautiful window displays on 5th Avenue, these questions will never come up. 

You'll be too busy discussing the decadence of NYC's Christmas decorations or the splendor of NYC's Christmas trees to tread too far into dangerous conversational territory. 

4. Do cool, festive stuff

jswartling Här ser ni en lycklig man som igår fick uppleva en av sina många drömmar: Att få se NY Rangers krossa motståndet i sin sjuka borg. #bucketlist #madisonsquaregarden

It's even better when the festive stuff is something everyone wants to do.

If everyone is stoked about, say, the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens, or perhaps the insanely intricate nativity scene at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you'll be much more prone to gaze in awe at whatever you're doing, and you'll keep off each other's cases.

This is your shot to get into those museums you've always wanted to see. Go check out the planetarium at the Museum of Natural History or the Observatory at the top of One World Trade.

The family who gazes in awe at the magnificence of the city together is the family who stays together.

Or, if you have a family who goes wild over sports, why not check out a Knicks or Rangers game at Madison Square Garden?


5. Naps and exercise

whitney.ingram Grateful for post meal naps 💤😃 #happythanksgiving #tribeofwives #snuggles #love #familynaps #foodcoma

Naps and exercise are essential. 

If we were to take some sort of poll about everyone who's ever gotten annoyed or in a fight with their families, we'd bet everything we have that the results would skew heavily toward those who are sleep deprived and haven't exercised. 


After you're done seeing all the cool shows that you bought cool tickets to, and done doing all your cool NYC holiday events, why not suggest you and your family head back to the hotel for some good old fashioned shut eye?

If this doesn't happen, then take the time for yourself to get away and hit the gym. You'll feel so much more refreshed and ready to face your uncle's irritating opinions after an hour on the elliptical.

6. Patience

amandaneilly Hanging in there #positive #goodvibes #future #patience

Surviving your family's visit will be infinitely more enjoyable if you come stocked with a huge supply of serenity and patience. 

It'll be easier if you take a look at everyone in your family and try and see them as actual, three-dimensional people rather than just through the tired old roles you're all so sick of playing.

Don't see your shy cousin as "the shy cousin." Try to see her as someone you've just met, and converse with her as you would someone at a party.

Do the same with the rest of the members of your family. Don't see your grandfather as a cranky old dictator. Try and see him as an interesting guy who's seen the world twice as much and as long as you have. Ask him questions about his childhood. You might be surprised by how he responds.

Practicing patience and appreciation will make their whole visit much more pleasurable. 

7. Alcohol

mommyissues__ FFS I swear @trashwhorediaries is my spirit animal. I gotta rangle me a three way with these bitches ☺️ @trashwhorediaries @trashwhorediaries @trashwhorediaries

Utilizing the social lubricant commonly referred to as "beer" or "wine" strategically will be crucial to getting through this visit.

You definitely don't want to get so smashed that you're hungover and cranky for the rest of the visit, but obviously, a nice, tall glass of beer can take the edge off any family tension.


It'll also be a nice way for your family to come together. Try and bond over a type of alcohol everyone loves. Drink liberally while trying your best to keep yourself far, far away from all your family's political debates.

Check out 8 New Year's Resolutions Every New Yorker Makes... Then Breaks

[Feature Image Courtesy] 

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