Be you and only you. You’ve taken the big steps to “come out,” embrace your truth, and be with same-sex partner of your dreams. It’s taken you years to get to a space of loving and trusting yourself to be who you are. So let’s be clear. Out of respect for the traditions of overeating, too many after dinner Brandy’s, and opening presents Christmas Eve not Christmas Morning, you’re now going to go back to pretending to be someone your not? Why not just ask for a White Christmas without snow? Honor and respect for others isn’t a one-way street. If that’s what’s expected of you, then you may have to re-examine what picture perfect holidays and traditions mean to you in life as you now know it.
Listen and learn instead of defend and demand. Honestly, the merriest of times have a way of sparking the deepest discussions. While the Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, Aunt Mildred may be burning with innate flames of desire to right your wicked wrongs with a tongue-lashing laced with Eggnog. Tempting, as it may be to slip the old biddy a couple laxatives disguised as Godiva Chocolates, often situations can and will be diffused when we instead “listen to learn.” Not only does this diffuse the situation, it also bides us time to think clearly before we go on the defensive rebuttal. The listening ear is usually the recipient of valuable information, which makes for respectful and open dialogue that may even melt the most hard-core hearts of stone.
No matter where your holiday travels may or may not take you, one truth remains the same, holiday season after holiday season. The pressure we feel during this time of year is the pressure we place on ourselves or allow others to place on us. One of the greatest gifts we have as human beings is the power of choice. This holiday season, exercise the gift of choice to it’s fullest potential and see how differently you embrace the sweet sounds of sleigh bells ringing, carolers signing, the quiet solitude of silent nights.