Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY CHRISTMAS AND OTHER HOLIDAY PROBLEMS

December 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Social Commentary

It’s Christmas dinner and someone points out that your tie is sticking out of your pants.

No family is perfect.

This season I’ve noticed far fewer emails from friends and family than I normally get. In a year where Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is the Time Person of the Year, it’s not so surprising. It’s one thing (and far easier), to say you “LIKE” the fact that someone like’s a certain food or that they’re taking a nap on Facebook, than talk to the people who are closest to you about matters of substance, not muttering to yourself about the 10 things you like least about your gifts. To be sure some will be quite happy with an Internet Christmas.

I’ve had a substantial amount of that this year, both in my own family and from what I’m hearing from friends. You see it’s far easier to retreat into the world of near meaningless discourse on a social media site than it is to pick up the phone and spend 40 minutes with a relative or friend whom you used to be close with. And for sure it’s easier to watch YouTube than point out that your father is drunk.

But which is better?

You take the good with the bad or leave it all behind.

This year, sadly, I’ve decided that it wasn’t going to be me that did all the reaching out. We sent out our Christmas cards and got a handful back, several of them surprises. But it just goes to show that despite the portrayals of a politically correct Santa, or the media hype about this being the biggest shopping bonanza for retailers in some time, the real world experience I’m having begs me to differ with that assertion.

I’m still hearing about businesses closing, or moving out of New York. I recently went to Christmas party for a law firm that I worked for and still stay friendly with several of the secretaries and other staff but at least half of the people there were putting on their best face. And when the party turns into telling Knock Knock jokes, it’s time to go.

Which of course leads to stress. And it’s not easy to put on your best face. Indeed creating a peaceful holiday environment for some families requires a dose of anger management skills. For me, whenever my family gets together as we recently did in Florida for Thanksgiving, it’s always a great time. And while each of us are dealing with our own personal miseries or afflictions, we always part wishing we had more time together.

That’s something to be truly thankful for.

Others have to think about the triggers that cause these family problems and you can actually go to WebMD.com for tips on holiday stress and anxiety, For many, the biggest source of holiday stress is the family dinner. some of the topics you’ll find on the site are:
How to Stop Family Fighting During the Holidays:
Family Problems May Mean More Than Holiday Arguments
How to Prepare for Holiday Family Drama,

and more.

No one can overestimate the happiness others feel especially during a time of year that maybe in their youth was wonderful. But as the years go by, things change, people change. Which is why we should take stock in the small things and live not for the past, not for the future, but be thankful for every moment.

This year we’re going to watch the kids have fun, and the small things will take care of themselves. Easier said than done I know.

Serenity Now!!

Here’s a clip from Saturday Night Live’s Dysfunctional Family Christmas.

Dysfunctional Family Christmas

Dysfunctional Family Christmas

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