When Thanksgiving Is Filled with Turkeys: Jesuit Father James Martin Offers Advice for Surviving the Holidays

Anticipating a Christmas season that looks nothing like the Normal Rockwell ideal? Jesuit Father James Martin offers some tips on getting through the festivities with your sense of humor intact:

1) Laugh about the craziness. Got a crazy family who always argues about the same thing every single time they get together? “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BROUGHT THAT UP AGAIN!” Don’t get angry; get perspective. Unless you’re the Messiah and can work miracles, you’re probably not going to change them. So stop trying. You’re driving yourself nuts. You can be open and loving, but you can also be realistic.

2) Laugh at things that are supposed to be funny. There’s plenty of funny holiday-themed humor out there. If you’re not tickled by Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (which I am not) there’s always A Christmas Story, (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”), which airs on TV 24/7 from Thanksgiving to Christmas, so you’ve got no excuse not to smile at least once in November and December.

3) Laugh at yourself. As Jesus said to the disciples, “Get over yourself!” (Well, he should have said it.) Stop taking yourself so seriously. Your coworkers thought that your Christmas tie was ugly? Maybe it is. Someone didn’t like your “Famous Mulled Wine” or your “Christmasy Ginger-Pumpkin Nutbread” handed down from your great-grandmother? Get over it. Life’s too short to take yourself too seriously.

To read the full post on ways to survive this time of year, check out the full blog post here.

Fr. Martin is the author of the new book Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life (HarperOne), which, he would like to say, makes the perfect gift for any holiday.


One Response to “When Thanksgiving Is Filled with Turkeys: Jesuit Father James Martin Offers Advice for Surviving the Holidays”

  • Colleen Bradley:

    Dear Father Martin:

    I very much enjoyed your recent interview with NPR. Thanks for the levity for your laity.


    Colleen Bradley
    Billings, MT