The holidays are a time of warmth, family, and good cheer. They're also a time of stress, frustration, and the unwavering feeling that everything is about to fall apart: your parents will start arguing, your drunk aunt and uncle will share their opinions on Obamacare (not favorable), and your significant other -- if you have one -- will either propose or break up with you right around the time the tree sets itself on fire (last time you let your stoner cousin put that thing together). The only way you're going to get through this is by eating and drinking your way into a blissful holiday stupor. Here are the perfect food and wine pairings for any holiday crisis.
Crisis: Parent corners you in the kitchen to talk about that Ph.D you never finished/even considered getting.
Food and drink pairing: A plate of ten brightly decorated holiday cookies. Eat the first four cookies slowly. If these cookies are of a gingerbread man variety, we suggest you start with the limbs and eat your way up until only the head remains (to ensure the cookie is still alive and feeling as it loses all of its appendages and internal organs). If the conversation lasts longer than the systematic torture and murder of more than four gingerbread warriors, start stuffing cookies into your mouth faster and faster until you can no longer speak and your mother throws her hands up and walks away in frustration.
Sign that crisis has been averted: A disappointed "it's your life" from the direction of your primary caregiver as they retreat towards the living room to gossip about you with your aunts and uncles.
Crisis: Elder corners you in the kitchen to talk about your love life and/or lack of children.
Food pairing: Anything you can get your hands on. Cookies, stuffing, or an entire turkey leg are all fair game regardless of dietary preference; this is an emergency. The conversation will go particularly well if there is liquor nearby, preferably in large quantities. Mix all ingredients together and inhale.
Sign that crisis has been averted: You throw up, eliminating what has just been consumed and clearing out the room (except for your sister's Irish Setter, the only person that really gets you).
Crisis: Finding that you have clogged the toilet at a holiday party being thrown by the family of your significant other.
Food and drink pairing: A Big Gulp of Southern Comfort and two cheese-filled hot dogs you purchase at the gas station a mile away (after sneaking out of a third-story bathroom window and losing a shoe).
Sign that crisis has been averted: You change your identity and start over in a new state, possibly as a shepherd. You never see anyone you know ever again.
Crisis: You walk in on your elderly relatives getting their groove back. (In your childhood bedroom. Sorry.)
Food and drink pairing: Do you really want to put anything in your mouth right now?
Sign that crisis has been averted: You realize that one day that will be you, 75 and trying to fuck a little in a bed shaped like a race car.
Crisis: After the gifts have been unwrapped, your parents realize they don't love each other anymore and get into a huge fight about who's to blame for the quickly approaching end to their marriage. (It's probably because you didn't get that Ph.D.)
Food and drink pairing: Artisanal bread and cheese on a beautiful plate you bought at World Plus market. All items on the plate must have been purchased at either Andronico's or Whole Foods. This will allow you to cover your parents' shouting with your own cries of "have some cheese! It was made by two blind sisters from east Palo Alto in their own basement. Would anyone like more cheese? Dad?"
Sign that crisis has been averted: Everyone slams a door; you curl up next to the TV and wish yourself a merry Christmas.