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  • Leanne Ammon

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer! – Elmo and Patsy

There’s always one, isn’t there? The ones that when faced with an array of twinkling lights will point out the one that isn’t twinkling. The ones that wrinkle their noses at the merest hint of warmed spice and cinnamon. The ones for whom Rudolph and his red nose will never shine brightly enough. Chances are there is probably someone you know that has that almost magical ability to shroud even the most genuinely uplifting moments with a sopping wet cloth, rendering said moment along with everyone else, a little deflated and a bit floppy at the corners. You might be lucky enough not to have to share your Christmas, your good mood, your carefully planned day of joy with such a bubble burster. But if you’re not one of the lucky ones, pour a mulled wine and rest easy in the fact that you’re not alone. As Elmo and Patsy illustrated so comically in their video, sometimes you might start wondering what Christmas could be like if indeed ‘Grandma got run over by a reindeer’. How those Christmas moments might be saved from ending with a fixed smile at the suggestions, remarks and comments dressed up as helpful but smouldering with judgement. Christmas is a highly emotive time as it is without the added work of fending off negative energy.

Is there room at your festive table for anyone who will take a generous heap of roast potatoes with a side order of how they could have done with a bit longer? Of course there is. There has to be. So how do we make room and still keep our joyfully Christmassy bubble from bursting? Besides the gin? Perhaps we need to fight caustic with cheer. We can drown out the comments by turning up the Christmas playlist. Greet every eye roll with a kind word or hug. In short, encourage them to become part of ‘your’ day, into co-existing with the festive spirit that will be flowing through every room, every nook and every cranny whether they like it or not.

Often though, that defiance against the festivities of Christmas is usually a result of a carefully built up defence against something that’s been pushed down all year and is now threatening to spill over thanks to the mistletoe, wine and general Christmas cheer. While it might be tempting to ignore it, fight it or even ruffle it, wouldn’t it be more helpful to keep true to the Christmas tradition of kindness to all? This is the one time of year for most of us where getting together is what Christmas is all about. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was long-awaited rather than obligatory? Getting ruffled yourself won’t help anyone, least of all the children who seem to soak up every glance, every tense shoulder, every eye roll. And children need, deserve even, to feel the magic at Christmas. To feel the love, the togetherness, the fun and the joy. So If you know you’ll be hosting someone with whose spirits threaten to dampen theirs, sit them down on the comfiest chair, with a continuous supply of their favourite tipple, nibbles within arms reach and let them feel a little of what everyone else is feeling. Let them know they’re loved just as they are. Let them be a part of what you’re trying to create.

And if that still doesn’t work, crank up a bit of Elmo and Patsy and pour out the gin. Cheers!

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