When people overreact during the holidays, it is often 'pain' relief. You miss your adult kids and only see them once a year, so you nag. Or your daughter-in-law doesn't like you so you criticize her.
It takes a strong person to say that 'this holiday does this to me'" and so you decide to have healthier responses and not drink, or yell, or mope.
"We all need to embrace our inner misanthrope."
A caller who says that is how he manages holidays.
"Banish all expectations."
"That makes it easier. When you walk in with all these expectations. You can control that."
But you can't control any of the people in the room, or how they make gravy.
"I go to my family gatherings as if I am an anthropologist."
Advice someone once passed onto Carolyn Hax.
A willingness to be the bad guy is very powerful.
- Carolyn Hax
@anonymous feels your pain. She is a writer and understands what it is like to be edited.
You can't control people, only what you do.
You risk having her make it up if you don't write it.
Or you can just let it be and let the letter go on as is. Accept that people might think that that mush writing reflects your life. Learn to be OK with the people who get the letter thinking you approve of pap.
Hax leans towards the second option.
You have to be strong and make a decision to be by yourself. She created a new world for herself in MN after being from the South. Avoids the holidays.
@ray I was once rick-rolled on the air. Someone actually tricked me into saying the lyrics of "Never Gonna Give You Up" on the air.
I was mortified.
@Noel's Significant Other
Thanks for writing in. It was great to hear how the story ended. Happy holidays!