WOW Word-Of-the-Week #433: Holidays

November 22, 2012 by  

Holidaysthat special time of year that brings joy and/or stress.

How do the holidays make you feel? Do you travel to be with your family? Do you spend time with family that lives out of town?

Long time subscriber John always makes me belly laugh when he replies to my WOW’s. This is what he wrote after my WOW #429 on family.

I recall a quote from an elderly Aunt of mine back in the 50′s that always stuck in my mind which occurred after a family “tiff” during the annual Thanksgiving family get-together many, many years ago.  

Three members of the family were particularly known for getting on each others last nerve.  During a particularly “animated discussion” my Aunt, who was known to enjoy her homemade Elderberry wine, stood up and proclaimed, “A toast to Thanksgiving, that special time of the year that we get together to remind us why we all moved apart.”

The saying goes you don’t get to pick your family but you do get to pick your friends. You may not be able to control their behavior but you can control yours. You can choose to not be reactive or you can choose to not be around them. My mother used to tell me to “ignore your brother” a lot. As I have gotten older I don’t need to ignore him as much as just understand “he is who he is.” And “I am who I am.” We get along a lot better now!

This week’s focus is on how the Holidays make you feel. Do you feel joy or stress? In a perfect world what could you do to make them more joyful? What behavior could you change to reduce your stress?

Reader Responses

“Obviously an apropos topic. I always look forward to the holidays. It is a chance to spend time with family and be grateful for so many things that I have, especially my good health and that of my family. At family holiday gatherings I never bring up politics because it is too touchy of a subject. And I’m outnumbered anyway. Outside of that, my in-laws have always been wonderful to us, and I have always been grateful for how they have remembered my wife and I and our girls. We are very fortunate. As a thank-you to my father-in-law, I always take him to a college basketball game either in Milwaukee or Madison, WI, to see my Marquette Warriors play the dreaded Wisconsin Badgers. We meet his cousin at a restaurant before the game, and catch up with all of our lives during a leisurely lunch. Then we go across the street to the game. It is a small token of appreciation for what he does for us during the year. I have much for which to be grateful during the year, and the holidays are the time when I can show my appreciation. As you know, Susan, it is a wonderful life.” – “Warrior” Joe