How to survive the world’s worst gift

how to survive the world's worst gift

From: How to Survive the Holidays: the complete field guide

The Blender team has selected eight typical holiday horror scenarios and provided you with step-by-step solutions for survival and endurance during the crazy season that is the holidays. Read Scenario #1 below, or click the button above for the full online survival guide experience! (Looks and works great on desktop, tablet, and your phone!). 


The Situation:

It’s bound to happen at least once over the holidays. A really excited coworker/estranged family member/acquaintance gives you the most horrible gift you’ve ever received. Maybe it’s a giant t-shirt with their face on the front, maybe it’s a Stairmaster with a passive aggressive note, or maybe it’s a hand-me-down jacket that smells funny. How on earth do you muster appropriate class and grace?


How to Survive:

Step 1: Take a (brief!) moment to collect yourself and put your initial reaction aside.

surviving the world's worst gift


Step 2: State what the gift is out loud: ‘Oh look! A ____’. This gives you a moment to collect your thoughts and think what you’re going to say about it.

surviving the world's worst gift


Step 3: Compliment gift: **WARNING** Do not go overboard with a wave of compliments. Say one nice thing, even if it’s about the wrapping paper.


Step 4: Say thank you again and gently steer conversation away from yourself. “Who’s next to open?” “Are those grandma’s cookies I smell?” etc.


Step 5: Discard the gift. (or donate). Discreetly! If gift is homemade, hide somewhere out of the way unless the person who gave it to you is coming over. Then place it somewhere in the house.

surviving the world's worst gift


Words and phrases to avoid when receiving gift:

  1. What is it?
  2. Um.
  3. This is JUST what I wanted (this could lead to more similar gifts in future).
  4. Well isn’t this a winner!
  5. Any outdated phrases no one uses anymore that prove you’re forcing a replay (examples include Gee, thanks! golly, what a doozie…).

Words and phrases okay to use:

  1. So thoughtful!
  2. Thank you
  3. What a great colour!
  4. What a nice gesture.
  5. I can see you put a lot of thought into this.


Want more holiday survival goodness? Want to see all scenarios on a big beautiful website? You’re just a click away! (Button below). Remember, the site looks and works great on all devices, including your smartphone.



How to survive cheesy holiday photos

How to survive cheesy holiday photos

From: How to Survive the Holidays: the complete field guide

For our holiday gift this year, the Blender team has selected eight holiday horror scenarios and provided you with step-by-step solutions for survival and endurance during the crazy holiday season. Read Scenario #8 below, or click the button above for the full online survival guide experience! 


The Situation:


It’s time to gather around and take a cheesy family holiday photo. No one really wants to squish together on the couch and fake smile for 10 minutes, but the grandparents are insisting and you can’t let them down. The problem is you are an awkward human being.

Mad scientist look

How to Survive:

Hair: Check for flyaway hairs and stray pieces of food. If born with cowlick, pat that sucker down.

Eyebrows: Raise slightly to appear excited at prospect of taking photo. Not too much though or you will come off serial-killer-esque.

Eyes: Keep wide open and avoid excessive blinking, as this will lengthen duration of photo shoot.

Teeth: Are there leftover brussel sprouts wedged between your front teeth? No? Are you sure?

Shoulders: Pull back to create effect of standing up straight. Avoid hunching or risk the weird no-neck look.

Arms: Keep at sides. Resist temptation to swing or flail. Do not, under any circumstances, put arms around shoulders of surrounding family. Everyone is already uncomfortable.


Poses to avoid at all costs:


the duckface

The duck face

[duhk]-[feys] noun, singular

  1. A photographic pose trend, consisting of an exaggerated pouting expression in which the lips are thrust outwards, often with simultaneously sucked cheeks. Well known on profile pictures in social networks.
  2. May express sympathy, attractiveness, and friendliness.

This is not a bathroom mirror selfie. This is a cherished memory in the making.

the bluesteel


The ‘Blue Steel’

[bloo]-[steel] noun, singular

  1. Made famous by the 2001 movie Zoolander, “Blue Steel” is the signature modeling pose of male model Derek Zoolander.
  2. consists of pouted lips, intense gaze, often confused with looks ‘Le Tigre’ and ‘Ferarri’.

Even if you have won Male Model of the Year three years in a row, this is not the time for this pose.

the bunny-ears

Bunny ears

[buhn-ee]-[eers] noun, plural

  1. The act of putting two fingers up behind someone’s head while a picture is being taken to mimic rabbit ears.
  2. Known as one of the most ubiquitous pranks of all time.

T-Rex arms


Awkward T-Rex arms

[awk-werd]-[tee-reks]-[ahrms] noun, plural

  1. The act of lifting arm and barely resting around another’s shoulder in an effort to seem friendly but not overbearing.
  2. Commonly used between strangers or acquaintances in a photo opportunity against their will.

Keep. At. Your. Sides.



Like what you see? Want to see all the How to Survive the Holidays scenarios on a big, beautiful, interactive website? You bet you would. The button’s right below, and the site works great on your desktop, tablet, and phone. Try it!





How to Survive the Holidays: the complete field-guide

How to survive the holidays: the complete field-guide

It’s ok to get your Grinch on.

Let’s face it, the holidays are great, but you won’t be full of cheer 24/7. Especially if you’re the one entertaining your extended family (#inlawsandnochill). But that’s ok! Because our gift to you has come early this year, and we can’t wait to share it! Our gift? Survival. Introducing How to Survive the Holidays: the complete field-guide, an online experience created by Blender out of mostly love–and a little snark–for the holiday season. (It also looks and works great on a desktop, tablet, and mobile phone!).

This online holiday survival guide brings you through eight different scenarios that you’re bound to run into at some point over the few weeks you’re being festive. Whether it’s at home with snobby in-laws, or at work with awkward co-workers, we’re with you every step of the way to offer solutions and survival tips to get you through it. 

Check back here in the next few weeks as we pull out some of our best survival scenarios from the field-guide and walk you through them, step by step. See you on the blog next week for more holiday passive aggression (and genuine love!) and see you right now taking a look at the guide by clicking the button below.