And So it Begins – Christmas!


Dear Dharma,

Christmas is almost here again. Ugh!

I used to LOVE Christmas. The music, the colors, the lights, the cookies, the suspense! What was there to not love?

Now the focus has seemed to shift and Christmas has become more stressful than anything.  My parents are split and so are my partners, which means we end up spending the entire day trying to cram in visits to 4 sets of family.  I would give anything just to have a quite Christmas at home by ourselves. Unfortunately the family won’t hear of it.

The nagging starts in mid-November… So you’re coming for Christmas morning right? For dinner?

Any suggestions on how to make this year’s Christmas and family visits less stressful?

Ms. Grinchy Pants

Dear Pants,

Ahh, the first of the Christmas angst letters for 2016.

You realize you’ve already blocked all possible solutions to your problem, right?  And I have to emphasize, my friend, that you are the one standing in your own way of Christmas happiness.

“The family won’t hear of it.”

Until you are willing to give that statement less power and less volume, nothing I say will be of use.

You and your partner are presumably grown-ups, yes?  And as much as being a grown-up often sucks, it does bring with it at least one beauty.

The permission to make your own decisions about how to live your life.

You know the saying parents use – “While you live under OUR roof, you’ll do as we say!”  Well good news honey bunny!  You live under your own roof now, so you may want to consider living as though that were true.

Talk to your partner.  Together, decide how you BOTH want to spend Christmas.  It may involve family, it may not.  Exercise that grown-up right of yours to set boundaries, and then calmly live by them.  Understand that there will be some repercussion to altering some of the family’s tradition and start creating your own.

How?  Well, take a look at all the things you used to love.  “The music, the colors, the lights, the cookies, the suspense!”

You have so much power here to bring back all the things you enjoy about the season – why wouldn’t you decide to take it?

If you found out this was the last Christmas you would spend on this earth, would you handle things any differently?

Life’s like that, Grinchy Pants.  You never know when it could all tip upside down on a dime.  So instead of going into the Holidays with teeth clenched and a pounding headache, take whatever steps you need to make it as peaceful and enjoyable as you can.

Or continue being the victim of other people’s expectations.  Totally your call.



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