It’s THAT time of year again..
Rampant commercialism. Frayed tempers. And of course, the inevitable family get-togethers.
Now if you’re someone who savours the enchantment of the Festive Season and basks in the bosom of the extended family unit then this article is NOT for you.
For the rest of you, you’re in good company.
The Festive Season has always been a time of begrudging familial obligation for me and in my younger years I believed that I had to simply suck it up and get through it. And I did. Most of the time.
It’s not always easy to deal with family. Add a few glasses of tipple and a simple meal can become a potential war zone. With explosive tendencies. You enter bravely holding your breath and exit many hours later emotionally battered and bruised. Hoo-boy..!
And so, dear readers, if you simply can’t avoid the inevitable annual beckoning from home, here are a few simple coping mechanisms that I’ve picked up over the years that may (just may) ease your journey through this year’s episode of “Xmas Lunch”.
- DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH..!
This self-explanatory really. “Wine-induced honesty” is NEVER a good idea. Ever.
Our self-control and tolerance levels decrease rapidly with each glass of wine. They’re family remember – there is no “drinking them interesting”.
- Pre-Pave for the Day with REALISTIC expectations.
Your mother/aunt/granny/cousin will greet you by commenting on your clothes. Or your hair. Just like she does EVERY year. EXPECT it. Don’t be shocked and hurt when she does. She is who she is and her comments are borne from her own sense of lack.
She means well. You don’t have to fix her. Or judge her.
Simply accept her. See BEYOND the barbs and just let it float over your head.
It’s NEVER about you so don’t use her comments as your excuse to feel miserable.
End of story.
- LISTEN more than you speak.
When families converge there’s always LOTS of talking.
It’s non-stop verbal carnage. Everyone fighting for airspace.
But no-one’s really listening. Right?
So dare to be different this year.
Be curious. Be the “one who listens”.
Notice the dynamics exploding around you.
It’ll blow your mind.
- Take. A. Break.
If you feel your pressure valve ready to pop, simply remove yourself from the environment for a short time.
Feign a phone call.
Visit the loo.
Or simply slip away unnoticed.
And when you’re out of range just close your eyes. And breathe. Deeply. At least 10 times.
It may just save your life (and some of your family’s too)..
- ACCEPTANCE and ALLOWANCE
This is easy. ACCEPT everyone for who they are and ALLOW them to behave as they choose.
Your role can be to observe with interest and curiosity. That’s all.
- Did I mention DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH..?
I’ve added some humour to this musing but the tips here are real.
We ultimately get to choose our own perspective. Without exception.
So unless you’re ready to bravely decline the annual Festive Celebrations, your alternative is to CHANGE YOUR STORY.
Simply shift your perspective.
It’ll shift your experience too.
Did this musing look familiar?
That’s because it is.
I first published it 2 years ago and it was so well received that I felt it deserved a curtain-call in honour of the upcoming holidays.