READY… Cousin Eddie: “You surprised to see us, Clark?” Clark Griswold: “Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.” ~ National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
AIM… Relatives…you can’t live with ‘em, you can’t live without ‘em. The holidays seem to bring out the best in all of us, including our families, making it truly the most wonderful time of the year. (Yes, sarcasm is detected in that sentence.) Could it be the lack of sunshine? Or is it the stress of shopping for the perfect gift? Nope. I believe it’s simply personality genetics and the fact that most people become a product of their environment. Therefore, when you attempt to gather a variety of different people, especially those who don’t normally spend time together, in the same room for any length of time, there’s bound to be drama, activities, and conversations that will leave you scratching your head for days. Why not? It’s the holidays!
I know my family has always gotten along pretty well during the holidays. Yes, we have our share of interesting characters, just like every other family does. However, I’ve heard lots of horror stories in recent weeks about the complete and utter dysfunction that rears its ugly head when families gather for the holidays. I think the best depiction of holidays gone wild is the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Even if you don’t have a cousin Eddie or an Aunt Bethany in the family, you KNOW you can relate to a hilarious and often uncomfortable situation you’ve encountered with another relative during the holidays one year or another.
This year, despite the dysfunction we will all experience celebrating our holidays, make an attempt to see through the outer shell of your cousin Eddie. Perhaps, he or she just needs to feel loved! If you want to give the best gifts of all this year, be generous with the gifts of patience, tolerance, acceptance and unconditional love. Perfect holidays really don’t happen, but imperfect holidays often times make some of the most wonderful memories.
FIRE! In order to prepare your heart and mind to accept the dysfunction of family gatherings this holiday season, watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with your family. You’ll all enjoy some great laughs, realize that your family might actually be somewhat normal compared to the Griswolds and soon those uncomfortable moments will be forgotten.