Posted on October 21, 2019 by dragonspitapothecary
You can peak at your calendar and see that soon the holidays will be here and for many of us that means family too. Even if you have a wonderful family that you are looking forward to seeing that isn’t always a smooth and beautiful visit. We all find ourselves at times biting our tongues some and holding back something that irritates us in order to “keep the peace.” Being with family even during just regular times aside from holidays is sometimes enough to make anyone want a vacation to a dessert island and no internet.
This situation is especially hard on us emotionally because we envision these great family holidays where people we love are gathered around a table set prettily with fabulous food. We see laughing, making memories and sharing with this very special group of people and yet not many of us can say our holidays are the makings of a joyful filled magazine photo shoot.
Ah family, aren’t they great? I hope it isn’t a preview of the holidays to come.
My favorite way to spend holidays are taking a trip somewhere, other than a relatives home, doing something fun and making memories of fun spent together and not spent with hours in a kitchen for a meal most will eat in 10 minutes. Tradition is sometimes overrated to me and dispels the true meaning of the holiday. I however deeply respect those having family situations that look like magazines and commercials of perfect families enjoying being together but I’m not convinced many have that in reality – at least all the time. I’m hoping those situations really exist, somewhere.
To me there is always at least one family member that you dread seeing or you just know they’re going to be the one that says something highly inappropriate, volatile, extremist, or offensive. They are the ones you can count on to set off a heated debate on some topic that no one can agree on and there’s always something that doesn’t go well. Yet we all try to bite our tongues and pass it off in the interest of having a meal together to say we are a happy family who spends holidays together. We are fulfilling a tradition handed down generationally of just being something you are supposed to do. I’m one of those rebels who says a vacation isn’t a vacation if you’re going to a relative’s house – that’s called a holiday. (Jaded humor I know.)
Nonetheless I try and have for many years put aside my feelings about holidays and spend them with my husband’s family and have put out traditions for our son that are considered “normal” family stuff. Yet every year when it starts to get this time I start getting quieter, more withdrawn and inside I’m dreading what’s coming when it comes to dealing with family outside of my husband and son. From talking with my friends I am not alone in these feelings and suspect many of the readers of this blog experience similar feelings of this dread. We just know there’s going to be something that is talked about quietly afterwards that made it less than pleasant.
I won’t claim to have mastered the holiday navigation with family always gracefully in these situations though I have found at least some things that work, like two fingers of the good whiskey you keep in the back of the cabinet poured over ice and savor in a quiet closet to hide in. Here’s what I have in addition to the whiskey:
Diffuse it before it begins.
I’ve done this a couple different ways and found success. First I literally setup diffusers in every room of the house and turn them on with some very high quality effective oils (like doTERRA) and let them work their magic. Using good oils have benefits like resetting moods, diffusing tempers and attitudes and making your home smell good. Try using the doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy oils – seriously just use them and trust me on this one. You put in some Peace oil in the room with the hotheads you can count on for starting crap on an otherwise nice day with everyone and some Cheer where the kids and “normal people” are handing out and see what you notice. Your home will have a totally different vibe going on.
Personally, I always apply a lot of Forgive in these situations too. Don’t let the name fool you. This oil is for you to not only survive the day but also put forth some understanding that these are unique people and this is only one day. You got this.
Flavor it up.
As a back up to diffusing oils, use them in your recipes! Everyone will benefit from the health benefits of these oils and the flavoring will be enhanced because of the purity of the oils you’re adding.
I brine the turkey which is basically a flavorful salt bath for the turkey to soak in for about 24 hours prior to roasting so it’s extra juicy and tender. That recipe calls for things like cinnamon sticks, rosemary, lemon wedges and more. I add those because they are pretty but I also add in doTERRA essential oil versions for the flavor. Let’s face it most spices you buy in the small jars that cost a fortune have been on the shelf for months going stale well before you put them in your cart. When you go to use them they have no smell or flavor.
Oils like Black Pepper, Lemon, Rosemary and Cinnamon have intense potent flavor that change your recipes to not only increase and enhance flavor but provide the actual health benefits from those plants. Lemon for instance is a great detoxifier for our liver and bloodstream. Cinnamon can help lower blood pressure. I’m betting a few in the family would benefit from these ingredients.
Make it Special.
Sometimes despite a beautiful table setting, decorations and mood you set there can be a problem. Arguments start, people are not happy and things are tumbling to disaster. Now is the time to pull out the super secret trick of all times.
I have been known to bring out a little special appetizer or drink to help people relax. Then as I am talking to I have on my hands and body essential oils that they will smell as I’m close to them. Our power of smell is so strong that using oils in this way will transform our cells very quickly. Our responses will change, our stress level can go down and we can feel calmer and centered all because of what we are triggered by through smell. The oil I rely on for that support most is the doTERRA Balance blend.
Daily I put this oil on my feet bottoms in the morning before I start the day because it is so helpful in not feeling the anxiety of the day creep in before it even starts. Then I will apply it throughout the day as things heat up or I’m feeling nervous, anxious or stressed. The oils in this blend are all targeted to help with these feelings and it has a very soothing aroma. To use in these tense family situations have it on your hands and touch the person’s shoulder, hand, arm or somewhere they can smell it from you and carry it on to themselves. Never underestimate the power of 1 drop.
Surviving the Family
Sometimes truthfully nothing will work and you just have to let things air. It is challenging and difficult and we do our best to get through it. However, having a few things that support and help reduce or deter it from going bad can’t hurt and if it can salvage the day or make it pleasant than it is totally worth having in place. There is always the special whiskey too…
If you have questions or would like more information about how living natural on your terms can help you survive the upcoming family activities over the holidays, come explore my website!