21578917_08ca661e47_mSomewhere, someone is having a perfect Christmas, filled with chestnuts roasting and sleigh bells ringing…

Screw ‘em.

Most of us are having just the opposite: a nutcrackin’ nightmare of anger, hurt feelings, evil in-laws, and carbs beyond counting. A time when grudges grow and gasses pass. A time of maxed-out credit cards and a ham that the vegetarians are ready to hurl through the frosty window.

Evil little brothers, pregnant tattooed sisters, horny dogs, and cross-dressing dads – they’re all here, ready to spread their Christmas cheer.

So untangle the lights, spill some eggnog, and gather ’round the place where happier families would have a piano.

Let’s sing to the tune of  “O Come All Ye Faithful”…

O come meet the family, bad breeding triumphant;
O come meet the family dysfunctional.
Come and behold them. As they brag and fight and whine.
For it’s a celebration, of Christmas aggravation.
And if you’re no relation, just thank the Lord.

Ok, now I have to admit that I didn’t write this. I WISH I could take credit for it, because it makes a dysfunctional family sound a lot lighter. And it made me smile. How about you?

Will you still be smiling on Christmas Day when you are spending time with your family? I hope you are. But if you aren’t, here is something to consider.

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It’s only one day. Make the best of it. If memories of family holidays past are less than desirable, switch the channel.

That’s right. Choose a new program. Take a new perspective.

You can’t change these people, but you can change how you look at them.

If your mean aunt is lecturing you again about how you chose the wrong career, you might be annoyed and want to tell her what to do with her advice. Or, you might ask yourself, “What’s another way I could look at this?”

You could choose to see her in a more positive light; “She really cares about me and only means well.”

Or use this strategy. Accentuate her rottenness; “She doesn’t have a life poor thing and that is why she has so much energy to spend on criticizing other people.” You might end up feeling something different for that aunt of yours.

And if you do react badly you can still switch your channel. Don’t feel badly about how you may have acted. Tell yourself that you will do better next time and don’t hold on to the feelings. Don’t beat yourself up. Your aunt can do that better right? Ask yourself what you have learned.

Usually when someone is criticizing you, if you feel a reaction there is some learning there for you. If there is no learning, then it will fly right past you.

If this does change things for you, then you will be stronger than the day before. Stronger for the next time.

And if none of this works at least you will have kept yourself busy and before you know, it will be time to go home.

This quote from Joubert Joseph is what inspired this post.

“He who has not the weakness of friendship has not the strength.”

I wish all of you the best Christmas that you can SEE for yourself. And take the best of that into the new year.

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Introduction and revised lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful was taken from The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook, written by John Boswell and Leonore Skenazy.

Photo credits: Kittenagogo’s photostream from Flickr.com

So, oh come all ye faithful and share your comments. Maybe myself or my readers can help you shed some light on a rotten relative!

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