| G. Michael Dobbs
And now the holidays have started.
I’ll say it for you: “Yikes!”
We’ve moved past the holiday speed bump known as Thanksgiving and we are now in full Christmas mode.
Frankly, Thanksgiving tends to be my favorite holiday because it doesn’t necessarily involve any particular religion and because it’s not about gift-giving but fellowship among people who care for one another.
I’ve found that fellowship is extremely comforting, especially as you grow older. Unless of course your family is splintered into various warring camps and Thanksgiving has become some sort of demilitarized zone.
To avoid the tension that is undoubtedly part of that sort of arrangement, I suggest just being honest and not see the family members for whom you have difficulty tolerating.
Take it from someone who has been there.
Now as a professional cynic, I understand the trappings and lore of the holiday have to be accepted. it should be noted that Biblical scholars have long established that Christ was not born on Dec. 25 and the Christmas holiday was created to subvert a pagan holiday already in place. Christmas trees are pagan as well.
The idea I’ve adopted is the holiday is designed to unite people of the same general faith, despite dogma, despite the origins of traditions and despite historical fact.
And in fact Christmas has been just that for many people – a respite from the demands, challenges and everyday horrors of life. It’s a time to think about others.
The problem is that for many people the expectation of what the holiday should be is in stark contrast with what their holiday actually can be.
If you celebrate Christmas you must make it your own. Do with the holiday what you can. Celebrate the idea of setting aside your worries for a moment.
To do so here are some tips that I follow to get through the next month.
If in need of inspiration for the holiday, I always suggest watching in no particular order “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – not the hideous Jim Carrey version – and “A Christmas Story.”