A Zen Approach to the Family Holiday

812645_46636008So you survived Thanksgiving with the family … give yourself a pat on the back.  But don’t get too comfortable.  By my watch, Christmas is approaching fast.  There’s a reason we all overeat and over-drink during the holiday season:  Too much together time.

If your family puts the fun in dysfunction, then you might actually look forward to the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  But if the thought of spending a day, or two, or three with your family makes you want to weep, you might benefit from these sanity-saving holiday tips from Carl Sheusi, zen master extraordinaire and psychologist who says that the reason why your parents are so good at pushing your buttons is because “they installed them.”

  • Can’t convince your family that you really are a vegetarian?  Sheusi says to consider the meal a loving gift and live by the philosophy, “I’m eatin’ what you’re cookin’.”
  • Your brother can’t stop telling you what to do with your life?  Turn the question back around and ask him what he can do to help.
  • Once you walk in the front door you become 13 again.  Go with it, says Sheusi.  Just don’t hate yourself for it.

Surviving the holidays, then, seems to be a matter of giving everyone room to be themselves without taking things personally, and being grateful it all only comes around once a year.

Tell us how you look at the holidays:  Do you look forward to happy chaos?  Roll your eyes at your relatives’ idiosyncrasies?  Or wish you could just fly somewhere warm until it’s all over?

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