If you’re already ‘out’ to them, great! But you still have to endure the rude questions, rude staring, and being tolerated instead of welcomed. Many of these relatives serve up insults like they were serving a heaping pile of mashed potatoes. They do it like it’s their job.

Oh, some parents and families are welcoming, but I’m talking about the ones that are not. <cough> my in-laws <cough>

Here are some tips to help you survive these obligatory encounters, and save your sanity.

1. When somebody brings up your girlfriend’s ex: “So, have you heard from Peter lately? He was such a nice boy.”  “Grandma, that was in high school.  I’m 30 now. And hella gay.” This is a moment when I choose to picture “grandma” getting run over by an actual reindeer; hoof marks down her back and the whole nine yards. If you are having trouble with the mental picture, a glass of wine helps.

2. The uncle who gropes all females after his third cocktail. This is the moment I choose to pull out my best Bill Cosby jokes. It can almost guarantee that Uncle Bob keeps his paws to himself

3. Your wife’s mother passive-aggressively states to others that she doesn’t know what your house looks like because she’s never been invited there. Politely state to these ‘others’ that it isn’t entirely true. After all, you know, she’s seen the outside because you’ve watched her roll by your address (by the way, who gave it to her?) in the early morning hours like a gangster. If you are having trouble getting the words out, a glass of wine really loosens the tongue.

4. Walking in the house after most everyone has already arrived and the room goes silent. Obviously, everyone was talking about you as you struggled to carry in your Christmas presents from the car. Loudly tell your spouse, “Honey, I told you we weren’t a boring couple! Everyone here finds us the topic of conversation.” Remember, wine helps.

5. Don’t forget, actually acting out these scenarios, while fantasies of mine, are not going to win you any points with your partner. My wife is the reason I’m happy this holiday season. So be polite and bite your tongue if you have to, and if it hurts, remember, wine helps.