Are you going to be taking a guilt trip to another family dysfunction again this year?
As you prepare to trek across the miles to see your sister, with her out of work husband and two bratty kids... thinking about your drunk uncle, and mother who thinks you've still not got your life together... there's more to take with you besides just presents and fruitcake.
Before you go and end up with a repeat performance of last year, read on and make your season a little brighter...
Make sure to pack these in your suitcase to bring with you:
Realize that some people may never change. It's their life, not yours. They might be making the same mistakes they did for years; they may or may not be trying to change it. Don't let that get to you.
Realize that some people may actually have changed. Don't assume they're the same, don't treat them the same; don't force them ro treat you the same way either.
People go through a lot in one year. There might be a lot going on "behind the scenes" that you don't know about. Get the whole story before jumping into judgement.
Be who you are today. Reunions have a tendancy to put you back into old roles and old habits. Don't change because someone else wants to pigeonhole you into history.
People are just different. If you don't like it, it's YOUR judgement, and YOUR problem. Deal with yourself, and you'll be happier about everything else.
The best present you can have is to let go of the past. Even if others have a hard time forgiving, that's also not your problem. Be the bigger person and forgive them for not forgiving you.
It's what ultimately works best. Find a way to do everything out of Love, and you will find the true spirit of the holidays and of your life.