Endless arbitrary introductions will still, most likely, be unable to plant the names of your many relations firmly in your mind. Don’t worry, most respond to intense eye contact and the seeds of conversation.
There will be a cacophony of powerful opinions, almost 60 percent of which will not align with yours, 20 percent will be physically repulsive and the other 20 you won’t hear over the din. This is okay, nobody agrees on everything; being blood does nothing to change this.
There will (most likely) be alcohol involved. Know that the man with the timid handshake and sweater vest is an entirely different beast to the ruddy, slurring abomination that weaves in front of you now, but they are still inextricably one.
There will be questions. Endless questions, assaults from multiple angles and multitudinous foes in an attempt to pierce the carefully polished armour thrown up by living away from home.
Remember: these arguments are cyclical and will wane accordingly, diminishing to slivers of irritation.
Remember: For every weaving tower of drunken aggression or insults, there are securely founded pillars to support you in your plight.
Remember: In the face of spitting machine gun mouths, launching interrogations one after another, there are those willing to bear the brunt of the fire, if it’ll take some of the heat off your shoulders.
Finally, remember this. For better, or for worse, all this can only ever be temporary. If all my family spent all their time together, I doubt there’d be anyone left.