Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Celebrate Togetherness.

Dear Children,

The following is an excerpt from my reading.

Have a Nice Day!
Love, Amma-Naana

Here are a few quick hints to help you enjoy, rather than suffer, through the holiday get-together:

Relax, and remember - it's about fellowship, connection, and fun, not about perfection.

Look for the positive side in everything. There is always a positive side.

Don't say anything negative to or about anyone or anything. It won't help or change the situation, and will just make things worse.

Don’t bring up politics, religion, or any other controversial topic that can lead to arguments.

When you're in a conversation, listen to what's being said instead of planning what you're going to say next. Focus your attention on the other person.

Ask others about their lives; don't hog the floor. Dust off your curiosity. Ask open-ended questions.

If someone is hogging the attention, or the conversation, start a separate conversation with someone who's looking left out. Work to make them feel better. You'll feel better too.

If you're the host or hostess, plan, plan, plan!

Do as much as you can ahead of time, even to setting the table. Ask your guests to bring a dish, or to help out in the kitchen. Giving people something to do is a great ice breaker and helps them feel included.

If you're a guest, offer to help!

No matter what the host or hostess says, bring a little something: a small flower arrangement, after dinner candy . And don't forget the thank you note, handwritten, later! It may be a pain, but it will make your hosts feel wonderful.

Go around the table and ask everyone to say one thing they are thankful for. You might be surprised what comes up -- and it can start the meal off in a wonderful, positive direction.

Reminisce about the good times. I know there were some. How can you create more?

Consider planning or suggesting activities other than eating and drinking. Play touch football outside or go for a walk. Bring a board game or work on a jigsaw puzzle. It's much more fun to be arguing about landing on Boardwalk than old, un-resolved family issues.

Finally, if you absolutely know it's going to be pure hell, don't go. You don't need the aggravation, and neither does anyone else. Make reservations instead of having them.

Remember, the holidays are about celebrating, not about family therapy, old hurts or resentments. Leave those at home, and you'll have a much better time.