This time of year, people can come up with all kinds of holiday-themed, seasonal excuses to convince you to do things you don't want to do. You have to eat things, go places, or spend time with people "...because it's Christmas" or "...because it's Hanukkah" or "...because that's what families do" and "...it's only for a few days of the year" or "baby, it's cold outside".
But we'd like to remind you that you can leave whenever you're ready (even if it's cold outside). If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you can prioritize your own physical and emotional safety over obligation to family or tradition. And if you think situation like this may arise, you can plan ahead! Tell a trusted person that you might need them to stick by your side for support, drive yourself so you can leave when you need to, or check the bus schedule or update your rideshare app. Of course, you can always choose whether you want to directly communicate your reasons for leaving, make an excuse, or offer no explanation at all.
You may have heard about John Legend and Kelly Clarkson's updated version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". They removed the most questionable lyrics, and some accused the songwriters of attacking tradition or even "ruining Christmas". But we all get to choose which traditions we participate in and pass on. And as we move into the new year, this is a great time to consider leaving behind or reimagining any holiday traditions that are uncomfortable or harmful (or, start thinking up a great excuse for next year).
We hope some of these tips have been helpful to you! Thanks for reading, and please join us in appreciating our amazing illustrator Jemma Jorel Lester. And of course, if you would like to support IMPACT financially at whatever level you are able, you can make your 2019 donation here!