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How To Avoid Your Relatives During Holiday Gatherings 

1. Always be the one who volunteers to go to the store for one or two items. Be sure to always "forget" one of the items so you have to go back. Then "get lost" on the way home.

2. Tell your in-laws they did something wonderful when they created your spouse, then ask, "You got any more?"

3. Create your own personal Saddamesque "spider hole" in your garage (equipped with battery-operated TV of course) and stay there until the end of the year.

4. Call your relatives in early December and tell them your county unexpectedly voted to go "dry," effectively immediately.

5. Buy all your relatives tickets to Disney World for a "special family celebration," then plan on having a last-minute work emergency that will keep you from joining them.

6. Tell them all about the shots the doctor is giving you for a relapse of that bubonic plague you caught in August. Reassure them that you "think they're starting to work."

7. Sit in a corner, listening intently to everything everyone says, chuckle snidely, and scribble in a notebook. Explain that you are "journaling," using your fingers to denote quotation marks.

8. Light up a big, cheap cigar and announce that they're being filmed for the new Second Hand Smoke Survivor TV series.

9. Announce your new family holiday tradition: razor-wire tug-of-war.

10. Marry an orphan.

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