The "Hallmark Card" version of the holidays includes extended family, warm homecomings, and bountiful tables filled tasty treats. Reality for too many people is that the holidays may bring painful reminders of estranged loved ones, cold nights under a winter sky, and empty bellies.
For those who do share time with extended family during the holidays, family members who drink to excess or tend to provoke conflict can be especially challenging to be around. The superficial postcard version of the holidays is rarely an authentic representation of real life. Families often include diverse opinions, lifestyles, and personalities. That's one of the things that makes them so interesting.
Today and each day through this holiday season, I willl be mindful of those less fortunate. I will disconnect from the commercialism that contributes to stress and focus on being "present" with those I love, making the best of the times we have together.