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             Christmas is viewed as a jolly occasion all over the world. It is filled with gifts, music, good food, and lots of parties. However, everyone has that one annual event that they dread attending. The one where you don't really know or care for anyone there. The one in which you feel like you do not quite belong, but cannot afford to upset anyone or seem unpleasant. There is a certain system to handling such situations; all you need is the ability to premeditate and a good smile.
             When you arrive, slowly get out of the car, dreading, what is now, your near future. Grab the gifts and walk gradually to the door. All the while considering your chances for escape. The perfect escape plan never hits you in time and before you know it you are walking through the door. This point is crucial in your survival. You must immediately morph into happy to be here, glad to see you mode, or your name will be trashed for the entire year to follow.
             Once you are in, there is no way out and nowhere to run. You will scan the room, choosing the individual seat in the corner. This chair limits your chances of human contact. Contact leads to conversation and you have no idea what to say to these people. Of course everyone greets you and you give a sweet smile and if necessary a hug. Hoping no one sees through you, but they all do and eventually leave you alone.
             After thirty minutes in your corner, someone suggests that you eat. The blessing is now said. With every eye closed, you use this opportunity to look at every one, for the first time, without the fear of making eye contact. You note changes in their appearances, particularly focusing on negative aspects. For this disregard of religious ritual on Christmas Day, you will most likely end up in Hell.
             Eating is the most awful experience of the night. All five hundred of you stand in line holding paper plates, hoping that there is still food left when you finally get to it.


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