The Spirit of the Holidays: 10 Tips to Dial Down the Drama!

Updated: December 16, 2018

The holiday season is upon us- and no matter what and how you celebrate you’re likely going to face some family stuff! And, while this time of year is meant to be full of joy and excitement, for many of us it’s also the harbinger of family tension, stress, weight gain, and emotional upheaval. So much gets triggered at this time of year, especially for those of us who are empaths and feel all the subtle forms of energy around us, and the obvious not so subtle energy as everyone behaves in extremes.
Over the past week, it seems everyone I’ve talked with is on edge about the holidays. So, I’m going to share how you can create a better experience for yourself this holiday season, and any other stressful time for that matter. First, let’s talk about the joys of family gatherings.

A friend was recently telling me about her trip to visit family for Christmas a while back. Growing up, holidays had always been a disaster (I won’t even go into detail!), but she convinced herself that this visit would be a new beginning—after all, over a decade had passed and all those old issues were long gone… at least, it seemed. Determined to have the warm family gathering she’d always longed for, she arrived at her parents’ festively decorated country home to find mom was completely worn out and had started smoking again, dad was holed up in the TV room with his third beer, and her brother and sister weren’t talking. As they all sat down for dinner that night, the bickering drowned out the holiday music and all the old personal grievances and grudges surfaced. Everyone reverted to their old roles as if it were 1990 again. It was so bad that no one spoke for the next month.

Can you relate to my friend’s experience? I certainly can. In the past, a lot of my own family’s get-togethers during the holidays came with sorrow and loss and fighting and booze and opinions and accusations shouted without cause like we all had Turrets. We were all at the same time trying so hard to make it different to no avail. Who put acid in the ice cream and sarcasm in the sauce?
Even gatherings of so-called happy families can simmer with tension during this time of year, with everyone’s personal “stuff” knocking against each other.
But, beyond the rivalries, judgments, and letdowns, our relatives often beckon us to look at parts of ourselves that we thought we outgrew. Decades after we leave home, our families tend to pull us back into old roles that have little to do with who we are today. Even for those of us with relatives who have passed on, those old family legacies have a way of creeping back into our psyche during this time of year. Memories, regrets, and unresolved pain can make the holidays difficult.

So, what can we do? I know from personal and professional experience that with the right tools, you can use the holidays as an opportunity to rise above old family patterns, dial down the drama and grow into a stronger, more loving person in the process. Here are my best tips for doing just that:

1. Love the Goblins:
We have our wounded egos to thank for all that stuff that comes up during holiday gatherings—the drama, anger, judgment, resentment, criticism, competition, victimization, abandonment, shame, and so on. If you’re familiar with my work and have read my book- The Map, you might remember that the Goblin is the character I use to represent this wounded ego we all have. Filled with repressed emotions and experiences (often from childhood), our Goblins try to protect us by repeating false ideas and patterns, as if to prove to us that they are true. Holidays are one of the prime party seasons for our Goblins—they just love to come out and get together over drinks to bicker! The good news is that when you love a Goblin, you put it to sleep. In other words, when your mom snaps at you, remember it’s her Goblin and send love to that wounded part of her that longs to be acknowledged. And, if your sister gives you the once over and you find yourself automatically assuming that she must be thinking you’ve gained weight, once again, recognize this is your Goblin’s assumption. Send love to that wounded part of you and let it go.

2. Hold your fire:
Emotional reactions just draw us deeper into negative patterns and feed our Goblins. Yet, when you’re mindful and think before you react, you come from a place of calm power. So, think before you speak.

3. Set boundaries:
You may feel you “have to” to do something or just live with poor treatment, but you don’t. If someone is being disrespectful, take a deep breath and calmly say something. Or, take a breather from the situation and go for a walk. You might even want to calmly discuss boundaries with your family ahead of any gathering. And, when a situation is truly toxic for you, staying away may be a crucial act of self-care.

4. Accept what you can’t change:
You cannot change what has been or what is. So often we unconsciously try to change or fix what has happened in the past through holiday gatherings. Healing comes with accepting what is and changing our reactions and perceptions about it. Many of us also long for a relative to change. You cannot single-handedly get your mother to take a chill pill or your father to be more loving, but you can change how you react.

5. Forgiveness sets you free:
Resentment, anger, shame, and all those negative emotions keep you stuck in the past and feed your Goblin. The more you see yourself as a victim, the more you stay stuck in pain. Remember, you can make a choice to forgive—it’s a gift you give yourself.

6. Be realistically optimistic:
When you approach something with dread or certain expectations, you set the stage for whatever you expect. So, be realistic about your particular situation, but also stay positive.

7. This too shall pass:
Remember there’s a beginning, middle, and end to everything: Holidays dramas will pass and you’ll be back to your usual routine.

8. Look for the opportunities for growth:
No matter how different you are from your relatives, you were born into this particular soul family for a reason. Such close relationships help us evolve. So, turn your family into allies to help you grow on your path. What do they have to teach you? What do they show you about yourself? Our family members are some of our greatest mirrors. Often when we strongly react to one of their traits, it’s because we’ve disowned that part of ourselves.

9. Meditate:
I know it’s sometimes tough to fit meditation into your busy day, but you’ll thank me for continually reminding you to keep at it. With meditation, you experience a clear conscious connection with the Divine and your intuition. Meditation also decreases stress and has been shown to help people experience more happiness and better health. I guarantee that if you make more time to meditate this holiday season, you’ll more easily detach from the dramas around you.

10. Surrender to Spirit:
Remember, once we’ve done what we can, we have to let go, surrender to the present, and be grateful for all of our experiences… even the tough aspects of our lives. So, write a letter to Spirit about your situation. Acknowledge that you’re letting go of control and pray for guidance.

I am not writing this from theory. I have done every single thing here and it has changed me in ways I wasn’t even expecting. My memories have changed because my compassion for myself and others has enabled me to change my perspective and perception. What was once so painful then has now had a chance to heal. Love the whole holiday hairball, practice self-care and know this too shall pass!!!

Have a beautiful one!



Showing 22 comments
  • Qli

    Thank you! Wise words.

  • Zoria Low

    I very much appreciate your persective on dialing down drama. I hope these suggestions will get me through the holidays. I want to write a new holiday story of peace. Zoe

  • lisa

    thanks Colette! great timing as always
    May your holidays be joyful!

  • Patricia

    What a beautiful and encouraging message. Thank you Colette.

  • Kathryn Keating Kay

    Love your video this week as I do every week! I do have a question about getting All That Glitters in protection. I thought about this all day & I am not contemplating doing anything so what am I to walk away from? Even my clarity card didn’t make sense Unfinished Symphony. Do you have another take on All That Glitters in protection? Thank you Colette! Happy Holidays!

    • Colette Baron-Reid

      the clarity card plus the previous card = the answer. Its about walking away from old habits and behaviors- lessons you may not have yet learned but don’t need a repeat. It can also mean that you may want to avoid dealing with the unfinished business that you really need to clean up- It’s important to let the reading sync in to discover what it speaks to. May take a bit of time. Don’t overthink it.

  • Jane Grey

    You are brilliant, Colette. Thank you so much for this very timely post!

  • Lea McKibben

    Thank you Colette for your weekly reading, the new inspiration app, these holiday tips and for all your amazing card decks (that I use daily).
    You have helped me hown in more deeply to my intuitive work for myself & clients!

    Many Blessings!

  • Betty McGee

    Thank you for the wonderful gift you have given me. Of course, it is timely for the Holiday Season fast approaching, but so useful for year round interactions.
    So happy to a part of your community !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  • Anonymous

    Colette, thank you for this great post. I’ve been able to implement so many of your “suggestions” since my Oracle School journey. This Christmas I was armed with the wisdom and courage to rent an Air B&B for us, instead of staying at my Mom’s. We get to spend the holiday with family, while setting boundaries. I’m so grateful!!! Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday and an adventurous and abundant 2019♥️🤩🎶.
    With overflowing love,

    • Terry

      So smart to get that Airbnb!! I find staying in the host’s dwelling to be WAY too much! So nice to detach and have space to maintain your own energy. Good for you!

  • Donna Campbell

    A very super reading Colette. Thank you.

  • Terry

    Love “the holiday hairball”. LOL!! 😂
    Great tips and awesome reminders. Thank you for taking the time to write that for us!! Peace and love to you all! 💛

  • Zan

    Loved this post! Many in our field have it in their marketing calanders to write them and some are beautiful but this one spoke to me so deeply. I thought the paragraph about holiday triggers was very psychologically sophisticated with its ideas of the wounded ego and goblins(theirs and ours),which really resonated with me even though I live in a very happy family.

    I still have the potential to get tired and wired simultaneously over the holidays even though it is a joyous and festive time. So thank you again very much! I agree meditation is a foundational practice for liberation and kindness.

  • Vera

    Amazing again hey the video reading and I totally can so relate to it …… again…. 🙂
    it actually makes me so happy inside that All is Very Good.

  • Anonymous

    Love this, Colette! Your wisdom is a blessing to all. Lately I have been drawing one card for the day from each of three of your decks (Wisdom of the Oracle (my long-time favorite), The Enchanted Map and The Good Tarot), and I feel it has made my readings so much richer (since each deck has a slightly different vibe). I also have your Wisdom of Avalon cards, so maybe I’ll mix that in sometimes in place of one of the other decks. 3 is my favorite number and I was born on the 27th (3 x 3 x 3) so I just naturally prefer 3-card readings. Thanks for all you do! I hope your Holidays are super-happy and your New Year filled with joy. <3

  • Gillian

    I have to say I love your Oracle cards Colette. I bought some decks and gave away as gifts to my dear friends. Forgiveness really is the key. You hit the nail on the head. When you forgive, it is your get out of jail free card and look beyond what others are projecting. It can bullet proof you. Before you go to a gathering, silently bless everyone in the room. Even if you just spend 5 mins doing so.

    Also gratitude comes in a close second. I recommend that everyone keep a gratitude journal – even if it is just for 6 months as an experiment to see how much it makes a difference in your life. Blessings to all and have a wonderful holiday. xx

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your weekly reading and all your wonderful cards! Always helps me so much. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  • Melanie

    Thank you so much for your weekly reading and all your wonderful cards! Always helps me so much. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  • Laura Canal

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone! This is the best advice and so beautifully written. <3 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Rose

    Love that you walk your talk and very profound wisdom delivered at a perfect time.
    I’ve observed people’s reactions to the person I’ve become,, stepping back as the observer has been invaluable, I feel as if I’ve gained more presence, if that makes sense. You continue to inspire me Colette, This journey to myself through Oracle school has been enlightening, has illuminated my shadows, enabled me to love ❤️ my Goblin😜🙏🏼 The coming to the edge card last year, has indeed help me find my wings and fly. I am so grateful and Blessed to have connected with you, I’ve made some Amazing friends,, learnt new skills even techie ones.
    I LOVE who you are, the light has found me shining again👍🏼✨✨✨✨✨
    Thank you for ALL you do with your team to ignite the Magic.I do feel Blessed to be here niw🌈🙏🏼✨✨✨👍🏼💕💕

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