HOLIDAYS & RELATIONSHIPS
My Favorite Emotional Stocking Stuffer for People on My Naughty List
Everyone deserves a holiday gift, even if it’s the gift of nothing.
Buying gifts for the people I love and appreciate has been easy and fun. My son is a music teacher and director at an international music school and a student at one of the nation's top music colleges. So, obviously, music-related gifts are at the top of his proverbial Christmas list. My partner is an art lover and an executive at an online art curation platform that provides a collection of contemporary art for art lovers. So, knowing what to get him isn’t tough. My sister and I are on simultaneous beautification and betterment journeys, buying and trying beauty products and rituals together, and holding each other accountable for our immediate and long term overall goals. Any sort of skincare and planning tools would work well for her. My grandmother, great aunt, and my dad –– they’re all pretty easy to buy for, and for reasons reported in a previous article, my mother gets coal for Christmas. And as always, she and others will receive my absolute favorite emotional stocking stuffer reserved for people on my year-long naughty list.
The Power of Indifference
I am often asked if I have forgiven my mother for the abuses I endured and survived at her hand as a child, and I am always proud to say, “Not one bit.” What happens next inside the brain of the person asking the question is a series of sparks, misfires, and what I imagine to be any number of explosion scenes from the Die Hard franchise, the first of the series being one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Fight me.
Some people cannot handle the willful rejection of forgiveness. Random bible phrases for which they have no context, much like spiritual clickbait, pop into their heads like so many text messages left unread. The most popular of these topliners is always, honor thy mother and father. But, here's the thing –– and follow me on this –– fuck everybody who has not honored me. I am not here to make anyone feel better about their abusive actions and intentions by granting forgiveness and accountability furloughs. However, I am also not here to make those who have tried to crush my spirit feel powerful by holding grudges and feelings of anger, fear, and spite.
Instead, I give them the gift of indifference.
For me, forgiveness is God’s job. I am not one’s judge nor jury, and no matter what I think or feel about someone and what they’ve done in their life or mine, what really matters is the judgment of The Most High. Also, as a student of Psychology and as a Performance and Life Mastery Coach, I understand that every perpetrator is also someone’s victim, and that hurt people hurt people. I don’t think they need forgiveness from humans as much as they need therapy and rehabilitation. I think of their behavior as an affliction, often driven by their own traumas, and their lack of self-awareness and empathy as part of a disease that eats them up from the inside. Still, just because someone has been traumatized and lashing because of that trauma doesn’t mean they’re not an asshole.
Therefore, to people like my mother and the many others who have hurt me in my forty-two years of life, I give them nothing –– no love, no hate, no…nothing. For my protection, I limit or revoke their access to me, with revocation being the most utilized of the two. Some people have seen their statuses change over the past years, going from phone to email-only status, email to social media direct message-only status, and some people have been admonished and allocated to LinkedIn hell with no other way to contact me. So, good fucking luck to those guys.
The Christmas Spirit of Discernment
Some people seem to think all their wrongdoings and assholery are supposed to be pardoned and assume their phones will light up like a Christmas goose stuffed with New Year fireworks during this time of year. Let them be wrong. This holiday season, even in the midst of a pandemic, let go of your disdain for others and relieve yourself of the burden of forgiveness. Instead, leave them to their own devices and the judgment of a power greater than us all. Enjoy your holiday without feeling guilty about not wishing all the naughty people in your life a safe and happy Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza (invented by some random dude named Ron in 1966), Festivus (shout out to Seinfeld fans), Winter Soltice, Holy Shit We Survived 2020, or whatever your end-of-year celebrations are called.
This year, give the gift of indifference –– no fake holiday cheer, no thoughtless sample size gifts that came with your purchase of $59 at Macy’s, no Elf or Bad Santa memes to placate the people who have done you wrong. Let them go and give them nothing –– a gift that fits perfectly in every asshole’s Christmas stocking.