Fiction 3. No one is ever lonely at Christmas. Ha! In fact, the opposite is true. Because we carry Norman Rockwell-ian images of what a Christmas family dinner should look like, we look at the empty places around our dining table and feel sad. Well, as Cher says, snap out of it! Stop sitting in that empty house and get out. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, invite a friend over for dinner. Bake cookies and take them to a nursing home. Don’t give yourself time to be lonely, but do take time to rest.
Fiction 4. Families never squabble at Christmas. LOL! Again, feelings seem to be more sensitive during the holidays. So be a peacemaker. If Auntie Sarah and Cousin Sue can’t stand to be in the same room, put them together and ask why they can’t forgive each other since we have all been forgiven so much. And simplify gift-giving. If buying gifts for each and every niece and nephew is a financial strain, buy “family” gifts of edible goodies. Or fill a basket with home-baked goodies (just be sure they’re not dieting!)
Fiction 5: Life slows down at Christmas. Maybe on Christmas day, but the days preceding Christmas are a whirlwind of activity. Everyone wants to have a party, and they want you to come. There’s the house to decorate, inside and out, there are gifts to buy and cookies to bake, there’s company coming and trips to take, and all of this happens in a rush! So take time to calm down. Go to a movie. Schedule nights off. Take cat naps. And take a cue from Scarlett O’Hara, who memorized a gracious refusal to many a proposal. (“Dear Sir, I am not unaware of the honor you have bestowed upon me by asking me to become your wife . . .” becomes “Dear friend, I am not unaware of the honor you are giving me by asking me to host your Christmas party, but I am simply unable to join you this year.”)