|Not this year!!|
Find Something You Profoundly Appreciate About Each Person You Spend Time With This Holiday Season.
This mantra is a step up from my mother's longtime admonishment to "find something you like about everybody you meet". (Well, actually it's a step up and a step down: Instead of finding something I "like," I've raised the bar to "profoundly appreciate." Yet, I'm not committing to doing this for every single person I meet, but only the folks I "spend time with.") My mom's advice - which I take quite seriously - has sometimes lead me to "like" superficial things about the people I meet (i.e., great shoes!), as a way to make myself feel better for being otherwise judgmental (i.e., what an annoying laugh!; what an immature/sexist/unfunny joke!; OMG I CANNOT believe these people open their Christmas presents BEFORE church! Blasphemy!! - spoken like a true Christmas-and-Easter-only churchgoer!). Clearly, this approach is overly judgmental for a season that ought to be dedicated to gratitude and good will. Further, even if I manage to keep such snarky thoughts to myself (which can be a challenge after a few cups of gossipmongering eggnog!), I've still invited shallowness and negativity into my own psyche.
|Way to go Michael. How... umm.... thoughtful?|
Speaking of my sister, I vibrantly recall pitching a crying, screaming, "nobody-cares-about-me" fit a few decades ago, when my Hanna opened a gift that I had put on my christmas list. "Why does SHE get a makeup-kit?! I'm the OLDEST daughter!!" I wailed and stomped. Poor Hanna feared the worst. After I'd caught my breath and could be coaxed out of my room, my mom handed me an identically-wrapped box which contained the exact same makeup kit. I was embarrassed, and my parents, I'm sure, were wholly unimpressed (although, from that day forth, all "identical gifts" given to both Hanna and me are opened simultaneously). Anyway, this story reminds me that I'm not always an angel to be around during Christmas, either. I've matured a lot since the makeup-kit fiasco, but I've still got my quirks. Hopefully my friends and family will see the best in me as well!
So tell me, what drives you totally nuts about your family? More importantly: what do you "profoundly appreciate" so much that it makes all the weird quirks not matter?
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