'Tis the season to be jolly....right? For some people, it is. But for others, it's not. In fact, some people dread spending time with family or friends during a season that is meant to be festive. If you are one of them, a bit of humor might be just what you need to head off any holiday stress brought on by family get-togethers.
People say that laughter is the best medicine for good reason. One well-timed joke can cut the tension in a room for the rest of the evening and playful banter might even stave off stress for the rest of the holidays. If that sounds more appealing than spending your holiday hiding from relatives, then learn how to use humor for the holidays and get ready to relax.
Why Add Humor to Your Holidays?
The turkey may have turned into the dog's dinner and the fruitcake may have exploded, but that doesn't mean that the holiday is ruined. These festive calamities can be used to break the ice when holiday events become a bit too serious. After all, everyone likes a good laugh, and research shows that it might actually be good for us.
According to the Journal of Experimental Medicine, laughter can have a positive effect on a person's mental health. The journal notes that laughter can reduce stress levels and even boost immune function. In addition, laughing can increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which means that it can also combat depression and boost a person's mood.
5 Ways to Boost Holiday Humor
Sharing a laugh with your family this holiday season might be just what you need to make it through dinner in one piece. And, it might help remind everyone that the best part of the holiday is the gift of being together. For inspiration on how to add some humor to your holidays, explore the tips below.
Tell a Few Jokes
If you sense things taking a downhill turn or becoming a bit too serious, you might want to change the direction of the conversation. One way to do this is to have a few jokes up your sleeve. Some giggles or even a few light chuckles can help ease everyone's nerves and shift their attention to a different topic.
Some holiday-themed jokes might be particularly fitting for the season. However, you can always turn to your favorites whether they are festive or not. If you feel like your holiday joke book is lacking or just want some inspiration, check out these easy-to-remember jokes:
- Why do reindeer stop for coffee on their Christmas run? Because they're Santa's star bucks.
- How does Santa know whether we've been bad or good? He's made a digital naughty or nice list, it's called Instagram.
- Which one of Santa's friends is the coolest? Jack Frost.
- What is the best Christmas present in the world? A broken drum, you just can't beat it!
- Why does Santa have three gardens? So he can ho-ho-ho.
- How many cooks does it take to stuff a turkey? Only one, but you really have to squeeze to get him in.
Laugh at Yourself
One of the best things you can do this holiday season is to try to not take yourself too seriously. You may have experienced hardships throughout the year or weren't able to achieve some goals, and that's okay. You might find it helpful to try to laugh at some of these situations to give yourself some space to breathe.
In addition, it might be helpful to be able to poke fun at yourself when you're around family. Unfortunately, some people at your holiday gatherings might bring up subjects that you don't want to talk about. However, if you beat them to the punch or are able to be in on the joke, it can help the evening flow more smoothly. It might not always be possible to laugh something off, but when it is, it can feel a lot better to chuckle than to become angry.
Watch Funny Movies Together
Holiday movies are a great way to add some laughter to your celebration. Maybe you want everyone to sit down and watch it together. Or, maybe you just want to have it playing in the background of your gathering. Either way, it can create opportunities for you and your loved ones to laugh together.
It might even encourage the people around you to share memories from past holidays. And, it can provide a topic of conversation when things become a bit too quiet. Some funny holiday movies you might want to put on at your gatherings are:
Set up a Prank
When was the last time you pulled a prank on someone? It's probably been a while. Holiday get-togethers offer the perfect opportunity for you to flex your prankster muscles, diffuse tension, and maybe even bond with some family members that want to lend a helping hand.
Pranks don't have to be complicated or hurtful in order to be funny. You can cling-wrap the tree on Christmas morning, give someone a gag gift, or even sneak a fake rat into the mashed potatoes. If you have younger kiddos present, you might want to create a fake phone call from Santa, or scatter feathers throughout the kitchen and say that the turkey has escaped. All it takes is a little imagination and you can kiss that holiday stress goodbye.
Have Some Fun and Games
Games are a great way to add some humor and fun to your festive celebrations. There's something about a good, old-fashioned competition that both adults and children can really get behind. You can compete for bragging rights, small prizes, or even for who gets the first piece of dessert.
In addition, games can help reduce the seriousness of festive gatherings and help people communicate with one another. You might have so much fun that you even start a new holiday tradition. Some holiday games you can play at your next celebration include:
- Christmas bingo - Take the traditional game of bingo and make it festive with holiday words and images.
- Pin the nose on the Rudolph - Draw or print out a picture of your favorite reindeer and pin it on the wall. Then, blindfold a player, spin them around a few times, and see who gets the closest to pinning Rudolph's nose in the correct spot.
- Snowball toss - Set a basket on the ground or on a table across the room. Then, take three white beanbags or paper balls and see who can toss the most into the basket.
The holidays aren't always easy. However, a bit of humor might make them easier to get through. And who knows? The more you laugh, the more others might share in your laughter. You might find that when there's less stress or tension you're actually able to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. After all, the best memories are often made unexpectedly.