The holiday season is rough for all of us. Between determining which relative will be least polarizing to sit next to at Christmas Eve dinner, and deciding just how emphatically your “Great!” should sound when asked how you’ve been this year, the last thing you want to focus on is hiding the fact that Jesus’ mother isn’t the only Mary around the tree this year.

Here are some foolproof ways to convince your family you’re the same hetero you were six months ago before you moved to the big city.

  1. While decorating the tree, suggest using ornaments purchased exclusively at Bass Pro Shop
  2. Look disdainfully at the loaf of fruitcake your dad got from his clients as a holiday present, not just how you would look at it normally, but like really, really disapprovingly.
  3. Don’t hug your mom.
  4. While out caroling with your family aggressively sing, “make the yuletide straight!” when singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
  5. Refer to all members of your family as “bud”, “buddy,” or “this guy.”
  6. Fart.
  7. Anytime you end up standing next to a person of the same gender under the mistletoe say “gross” and then punch them directly in the throat.
  8. Go to Starbucks with your friends from high school and tell the barista your name is Merry Christmas so they have to say it to you.
  9. When your grandpa starts to cry at It’s a Wonderful Life, loudly shout “What a pussy!” while giving him the middle finger.
  10. When discussing politics, always side with your uncle Frank, who lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment he refers to as the Bachelor Pad.
  11. At Christmas Eve mass, periodically whisper, “That’s what she said!” under your breath while the priest is talking.
  12. Wink seductively at your prettiest second cousin from across the dinner table.
  13. Before dinner, take a shot of scalding gravy, pawn your lisp off on your recently burnt tongue.
  14. Anytime a mall Santa says “Ho ho ho!” interrupt him saying “ho ho hoes ain’t loyal” and offer a knowing fist-bump to the nearest stranger.
  15. When Aunt Lois puts on Barbra Streisand’s Christmas album, smash the record player and play Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” at full volume instead.
  16. Only cry in the shower so the sound of your pain is drowned out by the running water.
  17. Tell everyone you got soap in your eyes when they asked why it looks like you’ve been crying.
  18. Respond that you’re a very thorough soaper when they ask why you were in the shower for 38 minutes.
  19. Leave your laptop open to a Google search for “straight porn that straight people like to watch because they are definitely straight and apparently really enjoy it I guess.”
  20. Claim temporary insanity when your mom points out you have a missed call from “My Queer Dear.”
  21. Spend the rest of the day crying not in the shower because your parents love you and aren’t complete monsters since it’s almost 2019 and people should just grow the hell up already and spread the actual meaning of the holiday season, which is to love each other, goddammit.