i try really hard to be gracious with rude relatives especially oblivious drunken judgmental ones.
i never take drugs of any kind at a family event
i leave when i reach my limit of frustration
the gift thing is a very common problem & there are many different solutions like drawing names but it brings up some uncomfortable class stuff when there are big income differences.
my favorite is guilt trips from relatives who make lots more money than me, travel frequently, have never visited me after being invited and complain when i decide not to visit as frequently. i'm sorry, i missed the part where you bought a plane ticket every year the last decade to demonstrate your commitment to our relationship
i've had several housemates & friends who have been very mean spirited about food allergies. one of them acknowledged to me that he had behaved poorly after his daughter developed a serious allergy but he didn't apologize. i realize it's tricky, some people are a PITA with their allergies, it's true but i don't get it when they get sh*t on when they are being gracious, bringing supplemental food etc.
for years i would have people come up to me at the buffet table and apologize for being meat eaters. for a couple years, i thought it was my long hair, or my tie-dye shirt or maybe they were told that i used to be a vegetarian. but then i realized it was just their free floating anxiety & guilt which they were projecting onto me. i came to realize people feel judged around their drug use whether or not i'm sober, or dieting or whatever. although i will admit i have certainly been guilty of explaining CAFOs or other atrocities of the food system at a party which i try to avoid now. but mostly my point is that, when people feel judged, you're boxing with ghosts. it often doesn't make any difference how gracious we are or give them an out or never gave a damn in the first place what they choose to do or not.
i also am realizing why previous generations put such store on manners & graciousness. i'm not going to lie about things but i pick my battles.