It's too early, but I was thinking about this on the ride home thanks to the fact that the grocery store I shop at had already begun putting out Christmas stuff.
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are generally "family togetherness" holidays, which can be generally stressful for people who for one reason or another can't stand their families. (Or for people who are not opting into the holiday for religious or secular reasons.) This means that this time of year can also be very depressing because of expectations that suddenly everyone should get along during these holidays. (Even if they really, really don't.)
Have some general advice for people who like the family togetherness holidays about people who want nothing to do with the family togetherness holidays.
1. If someone is bummed by the holidays, and tells you it's because of the stress, do not try to restore their faith in said holidays. Also, believe them when they say that the holiday is stressful. Sympathize and move on.
2. If someone says they do not celebrate holiday X do not assume they celebrate holiday Y. (A large number of people have assumed I am Jewish because I have said I don't celebrate Christmas. This amuses me, but would probably cause some exasperation if it happened continuously and you were some other religion.)
3. If someone mentions they don't get along with their family so they don't have any plans for the holidays, do not try to convince them they should attend the family gathering for that holiday. Unless, of course, you enjoy making people feel miserable. (Which you shouldn't want to do, because that would not be in the holiday spirit, now would it?)
4. If someone says they do not like the holidays or have no plans for the holidays, or do not celebrate the holidays, it is still okay to invite them to whatever holiday celebration you're planning. They may not accept, or they might accept and be total wallflowers, or they might accept and be the life of whatever party you're planning. It is generally the thought that counts.
5. There is no number five.
6. It is okay to try to cheer someone up who is bummed by the holidays. The cheering up should not however involve evangelizing or promoting the holiday. (Holiday themed cookies and chocolate do not count toward promoting the holiday.)
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
During my one major attempt to convince a family member (specifically, my dad) that being pagan did not mean I was somehow lacking in basic moral sense, or a Satanist, this dialog occurred at the end:
Dad: ...I thought you were going to tell me you were gay. *voice of relief.*
Me: *cheerful* Don't worry, you would be the last person I'd ever tell.
I'd like to point out that no, I had no idea of how nasty that would sound. I meant it in a purely honest way, with no intent of being nasty. My dad ( any family member actually) would be the last person I would ever have told if I were gay because of the following: