Party Like It’s 1499!

Holidays got you down? What is it, the fattening foods you know you won’t resist? Is it the fear you won’t get that Pet Rock you’ve been hinting at? No, I know what’s got you down. It’s the relatives, right? That tribe of primitives that always makes the Season fright? Well, if you are one of those people who normally dreads the holidays because your family is a bunch of Barbarians, allow me to make some suggestions for a happier Holiday season this year.

My family didn’t invent holiday dysfunction… but we may very well have perfected it. I’ve always been a good cook, so this meant the insanity usually came to my house to celebrate. It took time and maturity on my part before I finally realized, insanity need not exclude hilarity.

Doesn’t laughter make everything better? I’ve learned to mellow some in my midlife years; I’ve learned that if I can’t beat ‘em (I can’t run as fast carrying a big club as I used to), I should just kick back and enjoy the fun. I mean, say what you want about those guys in the animal skin pants, they’re not all wrong–those guys know how to party. So without further ado, here are my tips for surviving the holidays when the Barbarians are coming to your castle:

barbarian-kidsAdd some excitement to the dinner. Stow a battle axe (no, I’m not referring to your mother-in-law) nearby the roasted ham. You can’t imagine the children’s glee that’s generated when your crazy uncle uses it for carving. Sure, a little food may fly, but my goodness, what did they think you meant by a six “coarse” dinner. Geez;

Add some suspense to the party. Put the family bitch in charge of the cauldron of burning pitch, and seat her next to your brother, the court jester. Then, have everyone bet on what time she rolls out the catapult;

Add some culture to the mix. Yes, Barbarians are by very definition, uncivilized. So why not introduce a little… refinement? Offer a prize to the Hun with the nicest fur, plan to attend a Midnight Mass –marauding, or try singing some nostalgic Barbarian Christmas Carrols:  Jingle Bones, It Came Upon A Midnight Spear, Silent Knight, Oh Cannon-Bomb, Rudolph the Red-nosed Philistine, and that timeless favorite, Chestnuts Roasting o’er a Grecian Fire; and, lastly,

Add some fun for the kids. Make games a part of your new holiday tradition. Here are some time-tested mini-Barb favorites:  Pin the Mace on the Face, Red Rover Red Rover Trebuchet a Man Over, Grand Theft Battling Ram, Keep Away From the Celts, and my personal favorite, the Scavenger Hun.

So remember, even if you have always dreaded the holidays of yore, with a little imagination (and a whole lot of mead), you can turn those holidays blues into Medieval old news. Just remember to keep your sense of humor about you… and party like its 1499!

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