Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dealing with Family over the Holidays

Spending the holidays with family can be a stressful time.  While it is supposed to be a time for relaxation and good laughs, the reality is sometimes much different. What do you expect when you bring people together once or twice a year and put them in the same house. Many times it can turn into one big competition.  Whose kids are going to the best college, or who has the better car or better house.  When you don't see someone that often, sometimes there is an inclination to blurt everything out at once.  This can all be very draining and suck all the holiday spirit out of you.

On the other hand, we should feel lucky that we have family around.  Many families have lost loved ones or have family in the military who can't be around for Christmas. Like anything else in life it is all about perspective.  Sometimes it's easy to feel sorry for yourself and annoyed at the turmoil around you.  But when you think about it, it's really not that bad.  Look, there have been times I've wanted to tear my hair out(the little that I have) at big family gatherings.  But then I think, well it's only a few hours out of my life.  Suck it up and deal.

The key is to smile and nod and not bring up anything controversial. After 24 years on this earth I've finally realized that no matter what you say you aren't going to change anyone's opinion on religion, politics, or most any other hot button issue, and why should you? As long as the person doesn't try to push their beliefs on you what does it even matter? When in doubt just talk about the weather, especially if it's cold.  People seem to love complaining about cold weather.

Personally, I always prefer just to have the immediate family at the holidays.  It's just too much tension to bring people with all different personalites and beliefs together and not have chaos ensue.  I think the Holidays already put an intense pressure to a lot of families especially during these economic times.  However, if you go into a situation with an open mind you might find out it isn't as bad as you thought.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and got everything they wanted from Santa.  I got a Kevin Faulk jersey so I'm pretty much set for life.  I think I might be the only person in the state of Virginia with one of those.

Next blog: 2009-Year in Review