If you’re reading this, you made it to Christmas, the day your inner child wakes you up ahead of your alarm for a day full of joyful, healthy interactions with family and friends. You’ve spent the previous few days stressing over gift sizes, jockeying for position in your nearby grocery store, and avoiding the requisite conversation with your boss wherein she, after running down her annual Christmas trip to the Andes or Colorado or some shit, will ask you about your normal, broke-ass traditions.
Pat yourself on the back, dear reader, as the day’s arrival means the season will be over soon enough!
Sure, your mother still won’t open her gifts until you’ve opened yours, your uncle won’t stop trying his hand at dances liable to make his knees explode from his body, and your grandmother won’t stop calling your significant other by your ex’s name. But you’re decades beyond the realization that you can’t—despite all of the crying and supplication you did during your teenage years—pick your biological family.
What you can do to make things better is smoke weed at your problems until they go away. Today, those problems just so happen to look like your auntie who used to take out her teeth during your toddler years and your cousin who could’ve made it to the league were it not for that same middling work ethic that’s holding him back as a SoundCloud emcee.
Let’s tune out some family drama while making that new mac and cheese recipe delicious by default, shall we?
What You’ll Need
- A quarter ounce of weed ($60-80)
It’s early Christmas morning. The stockings have been hung with care, your drunk next-door neighbor won’t start yelling at the television until the Celtics come on (he’s so considerate on Christmas!) and your liquor selection has dwindled to the bottles your mother wouldn’t let you touch that she doesn’t know you’ve been sneaking sips of and refilling with water since your sophomore year of high school. Not to worry, your local weed dealer is home for the holidays, and when he or she isn’t posting memes about loyalty, they’re just itching to get out of the house and sell you some tidings of comfort and THC-induced joy.
- Four (4) Swisher Sweets ($2.25)
Now it might not be that good if it ain’t a Backwood, but counter space is limited, and you’re too grown to have to roll an L on your car’s armrest. Did they make your auntie go to the car after she got too drunk, tried to do the splits, and stepped on your PlayStation 1 in 4th grade? You’re damn right they didn’t, and you’re an adult now, too.
Provided you’ve got cousins in the area, they’ll be awake soon, moseying to the shower to prepare for a trip to your childhood home with their kids and significant others. Roll one (1) blunt and set it aside to split with the first wave of cousins. Once their kids are settled in, duck outside and around the corner to take full advantage of the first 20 minutes after their arrival, while everyone is still only mildly annoyed by their toddlers and the 8-year-old has only interrupted one conversation with a Fortnite dance.
Your other cousins will show up later in the afternoon. Since their children are either grown or nonexistent, they’re still at home smoking weed without you. They’ll be good and sober by the time they arrive, so roll another and throw it in the freezer. With any luck, they’ll match blunt for blunt, which could make for an altogether better Christmas memory than all the Madden games that ended in fisticuffs.
Roll your third bone a little skinny and set it aside for your that special drunk-ass uncle or auntie in your life. Your fourth and final stick? That’s all you.
- One (1) Pair of obnoxious sunglasses
Gone are the days of eye drops and cologne. As a grown, taxpaying adult, you have earned the right to broadcast your reliance upon recreational drugs as a means of surviving family gatherings.
Remember that Family Guy t-shirt you got for high school graduation? You hate that show. Remember when your uncle drove his drunk-ass to your house after prom so he could find out “where the party at” in 2006, while he blasted Jagged Edge’s “Where The Party At” in your front yard.... in 2006? This is your time to flex that sweet, dank coping mechanism you picked up while dating your first philosophy major. Keep the Visine under your bed, keep the Polo cologne back in 2007. Family is hard, and nothing says “I’m trying my hardest to smile at you muthafuckas” than the scent of Death Star OG and a pair of shades that would make Kurt Cobain proud.
- Some Juice (Like $12)
Your favorite cousin is in town. You know the one who seems to emit joy and laughter anywhere and everywhere they go, Christmas or not? Well, apparently that 100-watt smile runs on juice, and the juice in your kitchen always seems to be so damn good that they can’t help but suck up every bit of it your mother keeps in her fridge. Get some extra, and keep the smiles going for miles.
- $50 Cash
You’ve spent the last two days slaving over your stove to make sure your contributions to the holiday menu were unassailable, which is why you won’t want any of that damn food past 1:45 PM. But remember you’re planning to be pretty stoned all day, so you’re gonna get hungry. You’ll have to brave the elements to light up (or, for the more brazen among us, by opening the window in your childhood room after stuffing your Mickey Mouse towel under the door), so don’t give yourself the added task of finding an ATM when it’s time for Chinese food.
Now that we’ve got our supply list in order, it’s time to carpe-this-damn-diem with the best our earth has to offer.
11 A.M. - Prep
Your family was supposed to be here by now. Since they’re at least two and a half hours from arrival, take some time to prepare for the day ahead. Roll your four blunts and keep one on you, lest your cousins follow you upstairs and figure out where the other 3 are stashed. Keep one in the freezer for that aunt or uncle we discussed, and stash the other two in your Pokémon card Trapper Keeper like you always used to, for old time’s sake. With only your nuclear family in sight, hang out a bit: Tell some stories to embarrass your older sister, catch the last few minutes of ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told” and humor your Mom when she, as she does every year, dutifully remind you that Max von Sydow played the best Jesus of all time.
12 P.M. ‘What y’all doin?’
The first wave of exploratory text messages and phone calls are here. Your aunt is 15 minutes away, even though she’ll show up at 1:05. Your uncle is definitely not intoxicated, he’s just sleepy. Which means that your significant other will absolutely get to hear one of his Vietnam stories if you mistime your decision to give Unc the gift of marijuana. Pull those pans out of your refrigerator, pre-heat the oven and enjoy the last few moments of relative peace.
1 P.M. - Your favorite cousin
Your favorite cousin shows up early. Your favorite cousin stopped trying to guess what you were into when you were 13, opting for the reliable Macy’s gift card you’ve used to restock your underwear drawer every year since you started paying rent. Your favorite cousin can’t cook worth a damn bit of nothin’ but won’t eat too much, though he or she will absolutely drink every last sip of juice in the house without you realizing. Not to worry, you’ve prepared for such a time as this.
Make sure the fruit punch is foremost in the fridge. Big Cuz will drink all the fruit punch regardless, but if they’ve gotta search for it, they’re gonna get to the strawberry lemonade you’re hiding behind that bag of potatoes, and we’re smoking all this weed to avoid violent confrontation, remember? Do yourself a favor. Also, make a plate, because your family will be here soon and you know they ain’t cook a gotdamn thing.
1:30-3:00 P.M. Family Wave 1
Your other cousins are here, and you know their kids are, too. Somehow the woman who wouldn’t let you spend too much time with your cousins, who listened to Wu-Tang and smelled like pine cones, has become Auntie #1 to their children. While they spend time catching up on Christmas plays and showing your Mom what Santa brought along, spark that first L for a quick walk around the block. Bonus points for acting surprised while soaking up all the tea your Mom told you yesterday!
3:00-4:30 P.M. - Enter Aunt or Uncle
You’re one blunt in. You’ve begun working over your Chinese food order in your head, you’re going scallion pancakes over crab rangoon. You smart. But don’t get too comfortable; that late-aughts model Cadillac you’ve come to dread is making its way over the speed hump, and its brakes are as screechy as they’ve ever been.
If you’ve been rocking the sleepy eyes for everyone to see, grab your shades. Now, you can more easily deflect your elder’s line of questioning with regard to “that good good” they smell all the way back there in 1999. He’ll chalk the familiar scent up to the presence of your cousins (which could be his or her kids if your family is like mine) and keep it moving. You’ve cleared your first hurdle.
If you can keep your Mom distracted while her least favorite sibling makes their rounds, you can join your aunt or uncle in front of the TV with another plate. In an hour or so, after clearing the first few plates of the day, they’ll have energy enough to attempt to show their whole ass. Your Mom has her yelling voice cocked and loaded for just such an occasion.
4:30-6:00 P.M. - Shut That Ass Up
Your other cousins are here. Meh. Pass ‘em blunt number 2, take a hit or two in the time it takes you all to hug and exchange pleasantries, and keep it pushing. At least they can’t say you never did anything for ‘em. They brought their kids. They remind you of their parents. You should ignore these children.
Locate blunt number three. Grab your uncle’s attention from the hallway. Flash that sweet, sweet Gandalf stick and watch him follow like a loyal pup. Your uncle smokes weed faithfully, but he’s been buying it from that kid you went to Sunday school with. You know, the kid who cried when his team won the neighborhood basketball team like he’d beaten the Golden State Warriors.
The best part about smoking with your uncle is that, minus the first three minutes or so, it’s essentially smoking alone. Sure, your uncle will announce to the room that his “little nephew got that sticky icky,” eliciting an eye roll from Ma Dukes. But he’ll also take his happy ass to sleep for a good 90 minutes, and that’s better for everyone, isn’t it?
6:00 - 7:45 P.M. - Harpo, Who These Niggas?
Remember all of your mother’s co-workers and church friends, the ones who’ve known you since you were *places hand just above knee* this high? No? Of course you don’t.
Your family has made their plates and shuffled back to their cars for their trips home, arguing all the way. Your sister, who switched to vapes and edibles years ago because she’s “classy” and “a lady” is listening to Donny Hathaway. You know she’s cooked, she hasn’t stopped to cry once. This leaves you to kick it with Sister Jeanie and White Dan from the accounting department of the job your mother’s hated for 22 years.
Not to worry, you’re about 1.75 boges in, which should make the banter fairly breezy for all parties involved. Your Mom will thank you for being sociable. You both know it was the weed talking. What’s understood doesn’t always need to be spoken. You’re killing this stoned Christmas thing.
8:00 P.M.- Bedtime - Eat, Smoke, and ‘U up?’
You’re back home. You’ve already played your fill of Street Fighter II. Your burps still taste like both sweet potato pie and lasagna, but you’re not mad at it. Your Mom is watching her 4th old-ass Bible movie of the day. You already know Max von Sydow is in it, that’s off top.
You sent the obligatory text message to all your high school friends, along with work and fuck buddies alike. The responses are rolling in. Change your clothes (keep that elf hat on though, somebody might wanna see how it looks under softer lighting, ya dig) kiss Mom, direct your sister to the orange juice in the fridge, and roll out.
To minimize peer pressure, don’t smoke that blunt until after your high school buddy offers you that tan coke he’s always got with him, and definitely don’t fall into the trap of dancing with his girlfriend. Not only will he not be mad, he’ll be too not mad about it.
Avoid the cokie Christmas threesome, trust me. Meet your hometown friends at the Chinese spot, order those scallion pancakes, and smoke half that blunt. Catch up on all the tea. Bonus points for acting shocked, shocked, to learn of the love triangle tearing your high school class apart.
It’s late now, and you’re thinking of heading back home to catch the end of It’s a Wonderful Life with Mom. But that text you’ve been waiting for has arrived. You’ve got half a blunt and an elf hat to put to use.