A cat near a Christmas ornament.

A cat near a Christmas ornament. Credit: istock/iStock

The holidays are fast approaching, as we get in the Christmas spirit of peace on Earth, good will to men (and women).

But there always are a few jokers with a knack for ruining everyone’s good cheer. If you suspect you might be one of them, here’s a list of what NOT to say and do during the upcoming holidays:

1. Go on a crazed rant every time you hear someone say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

2. Blast Fox News when your liberal friends and relatives come over, or MSNBC when your conservative siblings arrive.

3. Loudly ask innocent-sounding but potentially toxic questions. For example, here are four you might avoid:

  • Wouldn’t Mike Bloomberg make a great president?
  • Socialism does a lot of good, doesn’t it?
  • Do you think we should eliminate term limits so Trump can stay as president another eight years?
  • How can anyone not love Tom Brady and the New England Patriots?

4. Instead of giving a gift to a relative, tell them you’ve donated $25 in their name to a worthy cause you love but suspect they hate.

5. When the gravy dish comes your way, dump the remainder all over your turkey and mashed potatoes before half the table gets a shot at it.

6. Insist on opening your Christmas gifts first, then leave “to beat the traffic” before anyone opens your cheap gifts.

7. If you’re Jewish, raise the stakes on the Hanukkah dreidel game, then walk away with all the kids’ money.

8. Rewrap a gift you got last year and gift it to the person who gave it to you.

9. If you’ve stopped eating meat, surprise relatives with an all-vegetarian meal “for their own good.”

10. Lecture your sister about how wrong it is to lie to children, then tell her 4-year-old son there’s no Santa Claus.

11. Turn off “It’s A Wonderful Life” in its last five minutes and switch to the Islanders hockey game.

12. Jump to pull a candy cane from a high branch of the Christmas tree, then claim you had nothing to do with it as the tree comes crashing down.

Fail to heed these warnings, and you may be celebrating alone next year.

Meanwhile, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and have a great new year!

 Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.