Holidays bring out the best in most of us, but secretly for many of us, the holiday season reminds us of issues or people in our past that we would rather keep hidden – mostly from ourself!

The Decision

How do you deal with relatives you would rather not see when everyone has been invited to Christmas dinner?

First, you must remember, why the ill-will in the first place? Often, time really does heal all wounds and when forced to think about it, you may not remember why you refuse to be in the same room as your cousin Ernie.

Next, who else in you family could this be hurting? Is avoiding your father worth your children never getting to know their grandfather? Is it killing your mother because you and your sister no longer are on speaking terms?

Becoming the Bigger Person

You have decided to “suck it up” and go to Aunt Martha’s for Christmas Eve dinner, knowing full-well that your brother’s wife will be there. She was your very best friend in high school, until she slept with your boyfriend and told everyone that you had a STD. You made it clear you did not approve when she began dating your own brother while they were at college! Then, they didn’t even invite you to the wedding when she married him. Now they have two children; your niece and a nephew that you have never met. That is a lot of unwrapped baggage to have exposed to your family at an intimate holiday gathering and odds are, no one remembers any of it but the two of you!

You do not have to admit to anyone that you have decided to take the high road by becoming the bigger person, and set your differences aside. Blame it on your brother, or say you are doing it for your mother or the kids, but know that deep down inside you are giving yourself the best gift – forgiveness!

Ground Rules

You have to establish a few ground rules to keep from ruining Aunt Martha’s dinner party.

1. Establish a moderator. This person could be a go between for you and your rival who will tell you when the conversation is taking a direction downhill. Whoever it is, one or both parties must agree to follow their direction. When the moderator says, “Lets talk about something else” then you must change the subject.

2. Talking about the feud is 100% Off Limits!

3. Do not drink too much alcohol – getting drunk can only lead to disaster!

4. Establish you own safety zone and have a minimum of at least one adult seated between you at all times. This includes at the dinner table, sitting on the sofa or outside around the campfire.

5. Try to be nice. If their joke is funny, it is ok to laugh.

6. As you have always been told, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” An off-the-cuff comment such as, “That is a nice dress you are almost wearing” is out of line!

You Absolutely Must say No

There are circumstances that justify you never sharing the same air as a relative or old family friend. When you turn down the invitation, do so tactfully so you don’t hurt the feelings of the host or hostess.

The Holiday Season is a time to celebrate faith and family. Some people have let their differences come between lifelong bonds and this is an opportunity for forgiveness, a chance to start over.

Maybe this is the year to forget your differences and make a toast with the future in mind, forgetting the ill times gone by.

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun ’til dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.