If there was ever a time to “dust off” your sense of humor, it’s during the Christmas Holidays. We are all racing about to finish up our Christmas shopping for those folks who are difficult to buy for and we know whatever we buy will probably be the wrong gift!
And we’ve got to get the baking done so we can get to the Christmas gathering where there will be more food and sweets than any of us need…so we can eat like there is no tomorrow! And then we feel stuffed, even guilty, and prepare to make a New Year’s resolution that next year will be different.
Christmas is a great time of year but can be very stressful…and for the most part, it is a self-imposed stress. Miss Lillie and I were watching a re-run of Home Improvement the other day and Tim the Tool Man summed up Christmas visits in a couple of sentences.
In the show, Brad wanted to go snow skiing with friends over Christmas. Jill, the mom, wouldn’t hear of it. She wanted the entire family home for the holidays. Of course, Brad being the proverbial 13 year old did not understand how they could show such a lack of understanding.
Brad’s argument was, “All of my friends are going and it will be a lot of fun.” Tim was trying to reason with him. He said, “Brad, Christmas is not about being around people you like. It’s about being around family!”
We can all relate to what Tim said. There is not a more trying time than holidays as we are hurrying about traveling, cooking, and trying to fit visits into a short period of time. The stress does not come from the fact we don’t like the family members we are visiting. It comes from the fact that we get so caught up in trying to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s” that we forget to just have fun.
Break out The Humor Attitude! It’s family and humor is built in if we will look for it. Be the leader and break out the games or just lighten up the situation for everyone.
I know a lot of pictures are being taken. It’s Christmas and everybody, including the kids, either have a digital camera or just got one as a gift. It looks like the paparazzi just arrived on the scene. Make it fun this Christmas. Print out several of the pictures, especially the candid ones, and have a “caption contest”.
Caption contests are a blast and you will be surprised how funny they can be. You can think of some very funny things that Aunt Esther might be saying to Uncle Hubert in the picture where she is talking to him and he’s in the recliner with his eyes closed…and he has unbuckled his belt because he ate too much dressing.
Family is built around love and acceptance…love for each other and the memories we cherish together. And, acceptance of the fact we have all changed and moved on in life. Yes, visiting with family is important but don’t lose sight of the fact that during visits, “quality” will most always trump “quantity.”
Be the one to “qualitize” (there I go again, making up a word) Christmas visits with humor and laughter. And yes, we will all probably eat too much – it’s okay!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you from Jim Bob, Jan and Miss Lillie Solsbery!