[images style=”0″ image=”http://amethystmahoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/christmas-family.jpg” width=”460″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”] The internet and television are full of pretty pictures of families coming together to celebrate the joyous holiday season. But for many of us, the holidays are a time of stress and strife. You may feel like the outsider looking in.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to avoid the pain of the holidays this year. Here are 3 tips to help you survive this holiday season:
1. Determine what you really want this year. Most of the time we go into the holidays on the defensive. We’re stressed out before we even see one relative or hear one, “When are you going to get a real job?”
This year decide that you are going to be happy no matter what.
2. Your job is to be happy, not educate others about things they don’t want to know. Instead of trying to explain how your family’s religious holiday practices were “borrowed” from other events like Saturnalia or that there are hundreds of Gods who were born of virgins, crucified, and raised from the dead, it’s easier to just smile and nod.
A truly Spiritual person accepts all religious paths and beliefs. That means ALL of them. Even that one with the really mean God who smited you growing up. Because that God isn’t bad – just the way he’s been interpreted by others is bad. So sit back, enjoy the tree and lights, and try not to giggle when your family members are holding decorations that have been used in fertility rituals for centuries.
3. Deflect the Muggles. Most of our family members don’t understand our lives or our choices. And guess what? It’s not our place to make them understand. For some reason, it’s considered socially acceptable to ask about your religious beliefs, your income, and many other questions that Muggles would never have the impropriety to ask other Muggles.
Instead of feeling like you have to answer every question or defend yourself, you can deflect the question. This is a great Aikido technique, and I’ve seen some Buddhists use it as well. Here are some examples:
What to Say
Q: “So how’s that little hobby of yours going? Making any money yet? (hahaha)”
A: Thanks for asking. There are so many things I love about my business, but I’m on holiday now. I make it a rule not to talk about work when I’m on vacation. How are things going with you?
Q: “Are you still doing that weird magic stuff with those Devil cards?”
A: I’m glad you take such an interest in my spiritual path. It’s very important to me, but I prefer to keep it private. How about you? I hear there are some exciting new programs coming up at your church.
or, …Wow! You really decorated beautifully. Where did you get this?
Q: “When are you going to put this nonsense behind you and grow up and get a real job?”
A: Being an entrepreneur is a difficult path, but given the state of the economy and all the low wages and layoffs the past few years, I’m glad I’m in control of my own future. By the way, how are things going at your job? Got any new exciting projects you’re working on?
Now it’s your turn – what questions are you afraid of hearing (again) this year? Let us know if you’ve found a great answer that’s a win-win for everyone. Or post your question and let us help you come up with a solution.