Dear Blake,

With the holidays approaching, I am starting to become anxious. I have a family member who ruins every holiday she doesn’t have control over. (She excludes some family members.) My children and grandchildren don’t like to associate with her, but attend holiday events at her home to keep the peace.

If I host the holiday, everyone is included. But I’m getting older, and even with my children’s help, it’s difficult for me. My husband and I have thought about going on vacation just to get away from this particular relative, but then we don’t get to spend the holidays with the rest of our large extended family. This woman has ruined our holidays for almost 40 years. I can’t take it anymore! Please tell me what to do.

Signed, Anita
From San Diego, California

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Dear Anita,

Every family has a pathetic relative as you described, that has the capacity to ruin gatherings. Together, everyone should work as a team to let her know she’s is not wanted at family functions, and she’s not even desired to remain on this planet. Here are some other ideas. Have the function somewhere there is horrible parking, and when she realizes how far she has to walk, maybe she’ll consider staying at home and practice casting spells. Or, have it in a Catholic church, and when she get’s there, have a priest perform a desperately needed exorcism on her. Or this idea. Inform her that all future holiday season gatherings will be held in very dangerous areas where she might get beaten up and robbed, so consider start having the meeting places on the southside of Chicago or anywhere in St. Louis. And lastly, this idea. Find someone more repulsive than she is, and have that person offend her in every way possible at the next function, until she says she’ll no longer attend any festivities as long as that person is there… and then give that person a permanent invitation. I hope this helps.