There are no proper shoes or boots for sloshing through the mud of Christmas season. Any gifting holiday that requires us to interact with hostile family members, hard focus on grief, or makes us feel like we are checking the boxes of the Holiday experience, is a recipe for contempt.
Gathering together with your argumentative uncle was once a mild day of contention, but in this American climate of 2021, it’s no longer mild. To sit in fellowship with someone who disagrees with your opinion is human, we are all different, but to sit in fellowship with someone who applauds things like 1/6, suppression, and hate is hostile. And you don’t have to do it. Not for family, not for the holidays, not to keep the peace. Because YOUR peace is worth something too.
Embracing the large pink bear in the room called grief is my new hobby, and what I’ve learned from getting down in a puddle of it and rolling around, is that grief feels different for each of us. Holiday grief is more intense because it pushes those left in your family to the front. The ones who are gone are REALLY gone. As a country we are processing a collective grief of over 800,000 deaths due to Covid-19. There are lots of empty seats in our homes and lots of hugs that we will never feel again. My only advice for addressing the pink bear in the room is to do so with grace. If you’ve been visited by grief and loss, maybe have something of your loved one close, so you can connect with it as you move through your space. Grief makes some of us feel like we are always on our last nerve, in this case do less. Stop sooner. Just sit and enjoy something instead of trying to create a Christmas masterpiece of the day. Hint* paint by numbers are back in style.
I hope you recognize what you need and seek a safe place to enjoy the Season.