At anytime during the year, it can be difficult to engage in any type of meaningful conversation with…well, anyone. And during the holidays, it can be particularly challenging to find one who might want to go beyond the Ho-Ho-Ho of the holidays.
Just like the raccoon who finds his way back to the unemptied trash bin, conversations at this time always seem to circle back to holiday shopping, meals, outfits, hair styles, beard styles, epic restaurant meals, dimwitted texts, sublime wrapping paper, sick relatives (God bless them) decorations and a few ‘thank-you’s’ for gifts given that will probably be soon forgotten. It can be a blow to mind activity.
This holiday season, why not try something different. While Uncle Harry, or Grandpa Tom or Aunt Harriet are trying to entice you to a third helping of potatoes au gratin – passing the ham, roast beef, or broccoli casserole your way so that they won’t have to deal with left-overs, try instead striking up on a conversation on a plethora of topics that the media, the government, or the most heinous of them all – social media, have declared verboten. Politics, religion, conspiracy theories, history, the state of the world, or God forbide, Russia – there are a host of “unapproachable” subjects.
By the end of the holiday meal, stomachs are blessedly full, senses may be a bit dulled from holiday spirits, courage is on a bit of an up-swing and every other mundane topic has been covered since you or your holiday guests arrived.
Dive in to that previously forbidden topic. Venture a bit outside your comfort zone and try to have a real and respectful conversation with someone else. So things become a bit spirited. Who cares. Are they going to demand you give back the winter scarf they gave you? Probably not. Are they going to get angry enough to ask you to leave – well, that might be a good thing!
We can’t talk about this or about that – we can’t broach this subject or that one – it’s what we’ve been trained to believe. We aren’t “allowed” to talk to one another unless it’s about the hideously mundane – conversations we don’t even want to have with ourselves, let alone relatives and loved ones. In this writer’s opinion, it’s one of the reasons why so many are lost – the modern world’s depravity towards respect, learning and love of one another.
Open up those lines of communication. You might learn something new…and in turn, the other you’re having that conversation with might learn of new things as well. And together you might experience one of Christ’s many messages – love of and respect for each other.
Tonight’s seasonal offering:
King’s College Cambridge (2010) – Once in Royal David’s City
Photo credit (front page): http://www.unsplash.com.@wesleytingey
Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@mikearney