By Lee Glazier
My relatives are crazy, so I always bring an extra joint along to cope with Christmas dinner.
Now I, uh, know that that isn’t a realistic option for some of you—especially if your family would tar and feather you if they smelled pot on your clothes. Fortunately, there are, ummm, sorry I was thinking about dinner. Oh, there are other ways to handle the holiday hellscape.
A deep breath, a whispered mantra, and/or a relaxing body scan are all quick fixes. Practice makes perfect though, ya know? So, don’t get too uptight with yourself if you’re struggling to relax. It takes time. A long time. But, if ya practice relaxation and mindfulness methods enough, you will get to a point where you can fit a 30 minute sit into a single breath. Isn’t that cool?
So, yeah, these little cool down methods work better if you’ve worked with them everyday. If ya haven’t, then you’ve got 365 days to prep for next year’s Christmas clusterfuck.
Without training, most meditation methods aren’t gonna do much for ya in a pinch. That’s why you’ve gotta get high. Wait, no, that’s not right. That’s why we, uh, combine them with cool ways of thinking about stuff.
Thoughts can either kill our buzz or kick it into gear. Either way, the cool thing is that thinking puts some distance between us and our surroundings. If you’re into your thoughts enough, you can even block out the ‘outside’ world entirely. That’s why Einstein walked down the road in his undies one time.
When your Uncle Buster’s Busch Lite fueled rants about politics and Planned Parenthood get to be too much, take a breath and THINK: “This will pass. He’s a moron. The mashed potatoes are gonna kick ass. This will pass. Just like breathing in and breathing out, dude.”
Think. Think, think, think. You can think about how things are impermanent, how uptight dillholes are usually uptight because they’re unhappy, and how—in the end—this will all amount to faded memories. Memories that you can help make better by not losing your cool, by bringing the mellow to the table. Fuck yeah.
Because here’s the thing, man: You’re not gonna change Uncle Buster’s mind. All you can do is backup anyone he might be hurting in the process of slamming beers and gorging on, uh, yams? Are yams more of a Thanksgiving thing? I mean, I guess you could eat yams whenever, but they seem more like an autumn, ummm, delicacy, right?
Anywho, it’s best to tackle stress from all angles—body, mind and spirit. A deep breath for the body, contemplation for the mind, and weed for the spirit. Wait, damn it. No. Love for the spirit.
If we set aside the familial and financial stresses, the winter holidays are all about generosity, resilience, togetherness, and the wonders of nature—aka, love. We take for granted how brutal nature can be, ya know? Just a few centuries ago, it was easier to see how precious a midwinter family dinner was.
Here we are, winter’s refugees, coming together to celebrate warmth. The warmth of the winter fire, and of each other’s company. The piles of dishes and mountains of wrapping paper are signs that something special happened, and that there’s no guarantee that it will happen again.
Just thinking about love is sometimes enough to make us feel it, dig? A silent, “May all feel joyed, loved and at ease,” can do wonders for your state of heart at any given moment, dudes.
The absolutely most best advice I can give though, is: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Keep calm and enlighten up, dudes. It’s hard to be a hardass about anything when your muscles are loosey goosey, and your mind is full of cosmic mysteries.
I’m kind, quiet and sarcastic at gatherings. I’m there to eat food and crack jokes. I have absolutely no urge to update anyone on my comings and goings, and I don’t ask anyone about theirs. I don’t feel the need to mend fences or build bridges, I know which family members I can connect with. I know which ones I’ll only see today and not chat with for half a year.
All of that’s okay. Maintain perspective, man. Always maintain perspective. Now, excuse me, my cousin and I are gonna sneak out for a smoke. Merry Holidays, friends.
Catch ya later on down the trail.
P.S. Always remember, pals, that you don’t have to invite Uncle, uhhh, whatever his name was. Ya don’t have to jump through all the holiday hoops or drain your bank account. The only things you have to do is, ya know, go on living and take care of the people who depend on you. All the rest is cultural debris. So, take it easy, dudes.
Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?”
Editor: Dana Gornall
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