12 Holiday Essentials for Surviving Awkward Family Gatherings

When wine doesn't cut it anymore, it's time to invest in some nice noise-canceling earbuds.

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December 14, 2018

Sneak Sips in the Shower

The only thing better than taking a nice, long shower? Taking a nice, long shower that involves pinot grigio within arm's reach.

Buy It: Paper Source, $16

Weighted Blanket

We're huge fans of this ultra-soft velveteen weighted blanket - especially for weekends that involve spending an exorbitant about of time with our in-laws. The blanket is perfect for a pair and works by distributing even weight and pressure over the body to promote the production of serotonin and melatonin. The results? Instant relaxation and calm.

Buy It: Calming Comfort, $99-$169

Your Pocket Therapist

Soothe, relax and distract yourself from the outside chatter with this spa therapy dough. It's like play dough but for adults, meaning it's fancier and features essential oils and aromatherapy scents instead of finger paint and an unsavory mix of cracker crumbs.

Buy It: Paper Source, $27

The Kind of Game Where Everyone Wins

Break out the cocoa and gather 'round the table for a game that promotes pleasant, cozy conversations: no politics, no religion, just warm and fuzzy feelings with friends and family.

Buy It: Amazon, $20.00

Get Your Game Face On

In the market for a self-care spa treatment to escape the (never-ending) drama between your cousins? There's a mask for that! This pack comes with eight soothing sheet masks that are sure to leave your skin looking refreshed and your mind at ease. For now, at least.

Buy It: Paper Source, $25

Boozy Bath Bombs

Here's a fun game: Before you take a dip in the tub, fix yourself a cocktail that coincides with the festive, fizzy bath bomb you choose for the evening. A vanilla bourbon cocktail and a hot bath to match sounds like the perfect remedy for spending the entire day with your entire family.

Buy It: Paper Source, $13

Cancel the Chaos

When you can't bear to listen to your Uncle Jim recount the same story for the 100,000th time, then grab a pair of these noise-canceling earbuds. We like these better than traditional earbuds or headphones because their wireless design makes them super discreet. Throw on a beanie or let down your hair and tune out for the rest of the evening and no one will ever know.

Buy It: Target, $149.99 (Originally $179.99)

Your Secret Weapon

When you start to question biology and whether you're actually related to some of these people, it's time to pull out this book. Take a break and flip through to re-center, decompress and connect to who you are.

Buy It: Paper Source, $10

Pop the Bubbly!

Who needs fizzy alcohol to distract from family tension when you can joyfully pop a set of bubble wrap sheets, instead? If your nosey Aunt Myrtle is coming to dinner, it's better to play it safe and grab a few boxes.

Buy It: Paper Source, $5

Movie Misquote Game

Find out if your "cinema buff" cousin can put his money where his mouth is by pulling out the Movie Misquote game. You'll all have fun playing along (and watching him stumble through the game).

Buy It: Paper Source, $24.99

Clutch + Chianti

You'll find this cheeky clutch comes in clutch when your grandmother asks (loudly, at the dinner table) if you're seeing anyone special this year.

Buy It: Paper Source, $23

Revisit a Classic

Here’s a game that kids and adults of all ages can get on board with. The Home Alone board game is bound to distract from any mama drama and is guaranteed to add some fun to family festivities this year.

Buy It: Target, $17.99