Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving and Holidays the Way You’d Like Them

Holidays, or so we’ve been led to believe, are times of fun, family bonding and for making memories that we will cherish through all our years. But it doesn’t always work out that way because some guests or family members just don’t observe the protocol that dictates respectful interactions and light on the liquor.

It’s not a time to get drunk or to pull up, yet again, all of the family feuds or foibles of members and, if you can’t observe those unwritten rules, stay home. Yes, stay home and fume alone because your relatives don’t need any more stress than they currently have. Give them the holiday gift of not being in your company. Who wants to know there’s just going to be another repeat this year of a film they’ve not liked in the past and have seen before too many times. You are not Oscar worthy, so accept it. Stay home and sulk.

How could I dare tell you to stay home on a holiday? Really simple. What would it do for anyone if you were to go and, instead of an enjoyable time spent with loved one, you created yet another brouhaha? Is that the way you get the attention you crave? Are you that immature and do you really require anger management sessions? 

But that’s not you, is it? It’s Uncle Joe or Aunt Anna or someone else in the family. You’re going to enjoy the holidays because you don’t know if you’ll have another opportunity to be with all these people. Have you ever looked at it like that? Moments are precious and no one, no matter who you are, no matter how wealthy you are or what status you have, can guarantee that you will always have the company you love at holiday time, no matter what holiday you observe. This is something you cannot buy or decree or in any way influence because you have no power over it. 

Fate is fickle and things happen when you never expect them. Listen to the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps: carpe diem (seize the day). This is something over which you do have eminently more power than you may realize. It is within your power to not only seize the day, but make of it what you will by your behavior. Express love and respect toward family and friends at holiday celebrations and you will receive gifts that are intangible but far more valuable than any Gucci loafers, bag or carefully faceted diamond. Those would be tref if they were food. Yes, a Yiddish word, but appropriate since I’m talking about all the holidays anyone is celebrating and I’m not discriminating.

What will your holidays be like this year? How will you try to insure that it has more happy memories than last year? Never mind the menu. Think about what you will say, how you will express your love or happiness about someone being with you on these special days. Everyone enjoys hearing words of appreciation, so don’t hold back and forget about giving anyone a swelled head. Go for it. Tell them how much they mean and, if you have to do it in a toast with grape juice, do it and let the tears come if they want. There’s no shame in tearing up at emotional moments. What do you gain by looking like a stonewall? This isn’t military school. It’s a celebration of life and there should be joy, so let it go.

Enjoy the holiday this year as though there won’t be another.