Thanksgiving has made its exit while Christmas and New Year’s are quickly making their grand entrances. I am sure it seems as if Christmas 2013 was here just yesterday. You, your family and your friends often remark, “Can you believe it; the holidays are here again?” Believe it…! If the holidays are rolling around as fast as they are, your life is doing the same.
Although you made it through your family’s Thanksgiving gathering, you still have the Christmas and New Year’s gatherings to get through. And sometimes dealing with family and friends at holiday gatherings can be a major feat. And you are probably thinking to yourself, ‘some of my family members and friends are difficult to deal with, even when it is not a holiday gathering.’
Until you make it through your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with family, friends, and some foes, you have not truly survived. The holiday season is the pinnacle of all that’s real about you and your family. It’s the culmination of the attitudes and behaviors of the past year, as well as previous years of your life and the lives of your family and friends. The holiday season is the time when the family masks are unveiled, revealing the true identities of family, friends, and YOU! And if you aren’t sure about your foes, their masks are revealed also. The holiday season is often used as a time for you and your family to truly stand up and stand out. Many times the outcome might not be the best for you and others concerned. But, you already know the characters and the stage has been set for quite sometime.
Instead of blaming everyone else for the success or failure of your holiday gathering, why not make the decision this year to refrain from blaming and look within, in order to determine which mask(s) you wear, as well as which role(s) you play at the holiday celebration!
There are so many of you who seem to need an audience in order for you to strip your mask, allowing you to speak your mind, act your part, and let the good times roll. And then there are those of you who seem to need a drink or two to give you permission to unveil the real you. On the other hand, there are still many of you who don’t need an audience, neither do you need a drink for you to show up and show out. As a matter of fact, your mask is unveiled each and every day.
I have provided ten major masks that many of you, your family members, friends, and foes wear to the holiday gathering. Many of you will be able to identify with the ten masks; it’s a matter of deciding which one(s) fit you. Recognize that many of you wear at least one of these masks.
We all wear one face or another at any given time. However, it seems as if the holidays bring out faces that are masked to hide various thoughts and emotions.
Ten major masks that are worn at holiday gatherings:
1. Big Mama/Papa Perpetrator—You are the self-ascribed matriarch/patriarch of the family. And you probably are not old enough or experienced enough to run anything or anybody, but you want to tell everybody what to do. You get upset when no one listens to you. And you probably did not contribute to the gathering in any way. You just showed up and tried to show out by taking over.
2. The Referee/Peacemaker—You are always asking the question, ‘Why can’t we all just get along?’ You try to calm the arguments, squelching the disagreements, and break up the fights. Sometimes your refereeing makes the situation worse, when you can’t control people and things.
3. The Rebel Rouser/Instigator—You are the ‘I’m just saying’ person. You throw the stone that starts the arguments/fights and then hide your hands behind your back. You bring up issues you KNOW are contentious and then you hide and blame everyone else for the problem. Give you some alcohol and the situation is exacerbated.
4. The Denier—You deny the reality of what is taking place at the gathering and within the family throughout the year. You remain in D-E-N-I-A-L about everything. As a matter of fact, you and your family are perfect.
5. The Deserter—When the going gets tough and the tough gets going, you can’t be found. You talk a good talk, pass out wolf tickets, and run away when it’s time to take a stand or stance.
6. The Narcissist—You focus on SELF; it’s all about you and no one else matters. You put yourself on a pedestal. You are self-absorbed, vain, egotistical, and arrogant. You can’t help clean or cook, because you are so special and you look too good. You don’t want to break a nail or mess up your clothes; you just want to be noticed. And you come to the gathering fashionably late.
7. The Self-Righteous Moralist—You are perfect and find fault with everything and everyone else. You are sanctimonious, egotistical, and hypocritical. Everyone else has low morals and there is something wrong with whatever they do. They drink too much, curse too much, eat too much, and they are not religious enough. You throw Stones While Living In a Glass House.
8. The Historian—You know everybody’s story in the family and you tell every sorted detail. You tell all the family secrets and you don’t care about the impact on the family members or others at the gathering. You get pleasure out of knowing and telling all the sorted past details about everyone else but yourself.
9. Mr./Ms. Know It All—You have all the answers. No one can tell you anything. You have to have the last word, whether right or wrong. As a matter of fact, YOU ARE PERFECT and you are the smartest one in the room…so you think!
10. Mr./Ms. Pitiful—You find a way to shift all the focus on you by feeling sorry for yourself, complaining, being sad, or isolated from everyone else. You seek attention and try to pull others away from the gathering in order for you to get attention.
Some of you wear more than one mask at a time. The situation and the people dictate which mask you will present at the gathering. In all actuality, we all wear masks. However, it is incumbent of you to decide when and where to unveil your mask and also consider the impact of unveiling your mask(s) on those around you.
No matter which mask(s) you wear, remember the meaning of the holiday season and the gatherings. These are times for you to share, care, and show love for one another. Yes, time is rolling on; so, too, are your life and the lives of those around you. Whether family, friends, or foe, take time during this holiday season to remove your mask(s) of bitterness and show a face of love and caring. There is only one time around, and tomorrow is not promised.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!