As the last leaves fall from the trees, and the turkey left-overs are
finally consumed in some mystery casserole, we look ahead to the
holidays and some quality family time. All year we gear up to prepare
for the family onslaught when all of our aunts and uncles and great
grandparents respawn in our living rooms as if they never left from
last year. Yes, the holiday raiding season is upon us. Like all great
raids, the composition of the classes is key to a successful raiding
holiday. So without further ado, welcome to the first Holiday Raiding

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The Dad
serves as the tank for any holiday raiding parties.

When it comes to party makeup, the tank is always front and center. The
tank roll typically falls on dad since dads are best left at hammering
away at something with little regard for the subtle nuances going on
behind them. Yes, the lovable tank just needs to be kept healthy in
spite of his single-minded focus, often at the expense of listening in
for other information. The tank will not be bothered with "Honey, we
need more (anything)..." No, the tank's business is plowing ahead
(possibly in the wrong direction) and business is good this time of
year. For this holiday raid, make sure Dad the tank is fully prepared
with the right gear and supporting items. The tank's bag should include
stamina food such as beanie weenies and an agility elixir such as
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or scotch if the raid is going to be epic (see
"Epic Grandparents" section below).

Next on the raid roster is the primary healer. This almost always
requires mom to stop what she is doing and fill her role as primary
health warden and typically the loot master as well. Mom knows who
should get attention when and then who deserves the loot that drops
(again, see "Epic Grandparents" below). Moms always seem to know the
breaking point of each party member and when the groups needs an
overall group-heal (aka group hug). Moms are perfect for this role due
to their ability to multitask yet provide each person with individual
attention. When needed, moms can also turn to damage dealers when a
raid may get out of hand. While other classes can deal subtle or
spectacular damage, moms can outdo anyone on the damage meter. This
holiday season do whatever you can to keep your mom from turning into a
damage dealer. Like tanks, healers need to be protected (sometimes from
themselves), so keep any eye out and make sure that mom has some eggnog
with extra nog (if you know what I mean) and keep uncle cranky pants
away from her unless you want to be collateral damage when mom turns on
the damage.

The rest of the raid party is very flexible and can be made up by
part-time healers such as a caring sister or brother who still comes to
all of the family functions and probably wears a Santa hat and red
sweater. Usually there is a teenage brother (we'll call him the rogue)
who will show up late and not bring what he is supposed to for the
party. The rogue will typically sit in the corner attempting to stealth
through the whole raid while text chatting on his guild phone with his
buddies not attending this "stupid raid." Be careful though, the rogue
still likes loot, so watch him perk up with Epic Grandma brings in the

Last but not least in the typical family raid is the biggest damage
dealer of the group (outside of mom, but when mom switches to damage,
it typically wipes the raid and everyone runs for cover). Sisters can
be both frost and fire mages, sometimes in the same sentence. The
sister can also be an off-spec warlock that summons demons from hell,
but let's hope none of us experience that this holiday. No other class
can bring as much visible damage to a party than a sister on a rampage.
From the subtle damage spells like "off-hand remark" that cause mental
pain over time, to straight up fireballs like "Can you believe she wore
those shoes with that belt, eeeeeeew!"  

Epic Grandparents are the raid bosses of any holiday. Their presence is
anticipated for weeks and when they show up, everyone takes their
positions. Some EGs are relatively easy to handle, while others will
keep a raid on their toes for hours. The easy EGs show up with armloads
of loot and smiles for everyone. The tougher EGs arrive grumbling about
traffic and can't understand why your aunt is still married to that
loser. Either way, EGs typically drop loot (unless there is a bug) and
everyone in the raid will hopefully get what they wanted.  

In closing, this is by no means a complete raid compendium, but look
for next holiday's addition where we will tackle the hybrid classes
(yes, we will go there) and the lovable trash mobs that show up for
every season of giving. So be safe out there and enjoy your holiday
raiding season, I hope you get all the phat loot you've always wanted.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016