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Avoiding the holidaze

Where many Detroiters would rather spend this month
Where many Detroiters would rather spend this month
Wikimedia Commons

To put it bluntly, there are some people--and not by any means a small
number--who absolutely dread the various winter holiday seasons.
Whether it's Christmas, Hannukka, Kwaanza or any other major December
festival, there will be inevitable gatherings of assorted people in
homes and workplaces. There is bound to be drinking, smoking,
leering, and plenty of other forms of nasty, obnoxious behavior. Add
to all that the pressures to get along with relatives and in-laws
you'd rather strangle, or judgmental superiors from work at the
company Christmas party, and you'll start coming up with excuses to
hit the bottle.

Nowhere in any scriptures does it say you have to endure social
situations that drive up your blood pressure abnormally high (other
than "Thou shalt not kill"). In many cases the best solution to such
a predicament is to avoid the encounters altogether. We here in
Detroit, and Michigan in general, can claim the harsh winter is to
blame, and leave if able to. Jump on a jet bound for some warmer
climate--or even drive off, road conditions permitting, to a location
unknown to those you want to evade. If neither of those options are
available to you, hibernate. Put messages on your phone and emaail
that you will be unavailable during the holidays, and retreat into
your lair with good books, movies, favorite foods, whatever comforts
you. Hang a "do not disturb" sign up, close the curtains and unwind.

People have the mistaken idea that this time of year it's obligatory
to spend time with family. Fertilizer. You don't associate with
those people the rest of the year--what makes them so appealing all of
a sudden merely because of the calendar? Your cousin is still the
stuck-up snob; your brother-in-law is not going to stop being a lech.
You will have an attack of hives from being in the same room as that
motley assembly so why not find some method of getting out of
congregating with them? It's your health, after all.

Other options include spending some of the season doing good for
others such as volunteering to work for local charitable
organizations. Some single people offer to work on Christmas Day or
Eve to allow co-workers the time off to spend with their families.
(This is usually in cases like paramedics,nursing or other emergency
staff, or firefighters, who are needed on holidays.) That way you not
only solve your own problem, you help others. Going to a soup kitchen
to volunteer your service will also give you a look at how others are
living, in circumstances possibly worse than your own. You may gain an
appreciation for what you have.

You can survive this season minus panic attacks, overloading of stress
and depressing memories for years to come. Just realize, no one owns
you and you are free to decide you do not want to waste any time being
annoyed, bullied or otherwise hassled by anyone. Cope with tensions
by meditation, exercise, yoga, relaxing teas (chamomile, valerian,
passionflower)rather than prescriptions or bottles from the
liquor store. It only comes once a year...don't let this season,whatever celebration
you follow, be a reason for anxiety and misery. For those of a religious orientation, f
ocus on the REAL reason for your holiday--remember Charlie Brown?
Detroiters: how about contacting these organizations to arrange
helping them out this month? They can use your assistance and you'll
feel glad you did it, too!

Detroit Capuchin Soup Kitchen contact info:

SERVICE CENTERS
Click links below to send email.

Meldrum Soup Kitchen313-579-2100 ext. 215Conner Soup Kitchen313-822-8606 ext.17Capuchin Services313-925-0514, ext. 100Jefferson House313-331-8900Earthworks Urban Farm313 579-2100 ext. 204On the Rise Bakery313-922-8510CSK Administrative Offices313 579-2100 ext. 215

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