Let's Talk About Those Dreaded Holiday Gatherings

You've said 'yes' to the invitation, albeit reluctantly.  Based on past experience, you've got a pretty good idea what awaits and you're not quite sure you're up for it yet one more time.

The requisite office party, the neighborhood potluck, the group gift exchange, the family dinner, the annual reunion ... or yes, maybe even the church fellowship.

You've been there, done that ... the atmosphere is usually noisy and chaotic, there's often someone with an ax to grind or a severe attitude problem, family members easily revert back to obnoxious childhood roles, alcohol loosens inhibitions, or you've got nothing in common with a single soul in the room.

Your introverted self recoils at the thought.  Yet despite past experience, you end up deciding you need to make an appearance and you RSVP a reluctant 'yes.'

'For those of you walking into stressful scenarios, take your expectations down to the ground, then anything above that is a bonus!  Let it be what it is.  YOU can add kind words, generous responses, positive intent, and good jokes into the mix.  You can up the ante on joy.  You can shrug things off instead of going up in flames.  You can compliment instead of criticize.  You can walk outside and take a deep breath ... you can be the best thing happening in the room.'
Jen Hatmaker

Or, as the Apostle Paul said so well, 'if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone' 
{Romans 12:22 NLT}.

How do you handle occasions where you'd really rather stay home?

And when is that the absolutely right thing to do?

And where is God in all this?

Do tell ...