Grin and Bear It through the Holidays

Ah, it's the time of year that your phone lights up with calls and texts about holiday plans—an argument or two may even ensue. Your partner is not thrilled to spend another Christmas with your crazy clan that's called family and you're even less elated to sit through another dinner featuring Aunt Gertrude's green bean casserole and Uncle Fred's stories that inevitably start off with "When I was your age...".

Every year we threaten to skip the holidays all together to avoid the family fuss and take a vacation to someplace warm, tropical and far away from family, yet every year we find ourselves succumbing to family gatherings and grinning and bearing it through a series of white elephant gift games. Sound familiar? Well as you are packing up the car with everyone's gifts and your overnight bag, why not throw in a few of these books to keep you in the best of spirits this holiday season?

Holidays on Ice: This tiny volume contains six short stories by David Sedaris. Written in a shameless and equally touching tone, these stories are guaranteed to make you chuckle. And if that fails, this slim volume can do double duty as a drink coaster.

Skipping Christmas: Another coaster-size volume that makes for quick and humorous holiday reading by none other than the prolific John Grisham. If you can't take a vacation over the holidays, read this book and be prepared to crack up as you live vicariously through Luther and Nora Krank, who decide they will skip Christmas all together and leave on December 25 for a Caribbean cruise.

You Better Not Cry: A collection of short stories for Christmas sure to keep you entertained from the caustically funny Augusten Burroughs. Irreverent and nostalgic, Burroughs recounts stories of Christmases past as only he can.

The Idiot Girl's Christmas: In a collection of over a dozen short stories, the funny and witty Laurie Notaro shares her stories and side-splitting disasters of the holiday season. If Notaro can't put a smile on your face throughout the holiday season, it's pretty doubtful anyone or anything else can.

If you're headed to the home of relatives who you really don't want knowing what you're reading, check out The Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook eBook. If you're reading from your tablet or cell phone, it's easy to tell Aunt Trudy that you have some emergency work email that demands your attention. Meanwhile you can read up on how to silence a group of carolers or treat a tongue stuck to a frozen pole; it is the perfect book to guide you through every festive scenario that may arise between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Hopefully my family isn't reading this—otherwise I am guaranteed to get regifted fruit cake from last year (possibly even with the price sticker still stuck on it) now that they all know what I think of the holidays. Pass the eggnog, enjoy these quick and hilarious holiday reads and festivus maximus to all!

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