Can I be honest with you? Part of me truly thinks there no escaping the hassles that surround Christmas. And for us with a mental illness it can seem even more hopeless. Let’s face it, we’d all rather pop 2 Xanax and call Santa in the morning than face another Uncle Rube and Aunt Jo story.
Then again, maybe we should give this one some more thought.
As much as we really do think Uncle Rube smells like a combination of antifreeze and Aqua Velva. And yes! Aunt Jo ALWAYS thinks our name is Betty and wonders why they would name a boy after a girl. (Thinking about that one explains the pink fuzzy slippers last year.) But as horrible as these things are, should we really pull out of family functions JUST BECAUSE they’re difficult for us to handle?
Well… After thinking some more about it, I guess the only way it makes since to ditch a family Christmas is if you had something even better and rewarding to do in its place.
So here’s a few things I have thought of that don’t really cost a lot of money (if any) and would potentially save you from Uncle Rube and Aunt Jo.
(DISCLAIMER: The owner of this blog makes no claims that the events mentioned will protect one’s life from their mother, father, brother or sister. Any bodily harm or death resulting from trying these events is the fault of the reader. Because I OBVIOUSLY DO NOT MEAN TO GO GET YOUR HEAD SHOT OFF! Understood?? Good!)
1. Volunteering for Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has a host of areas where one can volunteer. From the shelters, kitchens, watching the children or even just ringing the bell. Either way, you can be they’d love to have you there.
2. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
I did this once and it really was a life changing event. There’s something about knowing the “slop” you are pouring into bowls are probably the first hot meal that person has had in several days. And when they look up at you asking for more, you just can’t help giving up your portion.
3. House Sit for someone out of town
Granted this one takes a bit of planning. And this being almost the day before Christmas it just might be nearly impossible. But then again, people do go away and often times they leave their houses unprotected.
Think about it! What better excuse for ditching a family party than saying, “Ooo… I’m sorry I can’t. I have to watch Bill and Kate’s winter retreat.
4. Go, but feign a headache and leave early.
This one is an oldie but a goodie. The ‘ole migraine on demand. The only issue is you sometimes need to produce more than sensitivity to light. Depending on how persistent your family is you just might have to end up getting a real migraine just so you can recover from your fake one.
Not only does it have a tendency of failing, it is also something you can’t use for a while after words. And we all know that New Year’s Party is just around the corner.
So my advice is this, use sparingly and not if you’ve feigned a migraine within the last 3-4 months.
5. Tell The Truth
I heard that collective gasp, but hold up. What would actually happen if we opened up to our family and friends about our condition and explained just how overwhelming the holidays and all the parties really are!
Who knows, maybe, just maybe if we were honest with our family they would see that we’re not trying to ditch a family gathering, but genuinely take care of our own well being.
Sure, these things might be out there. But the point is this. Why worry about a holiday that has become too commercial and lost its special meaning to so many people around the world.
So maybe let’s take time remember the reason for the season and give ourselves a gift.
The gift of peace of mind, and good will towards ourselves.