Permission Slips: Divine Forgiveness in the Holiday Season

With a sleigh-ful of obligatory gatherings this season, it’s no surprise that many of us feel angst and stress. At times like these, a little forgiveness goes a long way.

During the holiday season, obligatory social events can serve as pressure cookers, causing long-simmering issues to a come to a boil and even explode.

Consider who’s on your “naughty” list:

  • The guy who lets his dog poop on your lawn? He’s standing by the meatball appetizers. Here’s your chance to tell him off.
  • The colleague who takes credit for your work? She just poured herself another Cosmo. Perhaps an “accidental” bump would cause that drink to spill on her skimpy dress.
  • At the family feast, the uncle who drinks too much and starts attacking your political views? Would it be so wrong to slip something into his next drink?
  • On New Year’s Eve, you’re bound to see that “frenemy” who told your entire book club that deep, dark secret you revealed during a GNO. It’s tempting to share something about her, isn’t it?


And yet, those emotions—and especially thoughts of revenge—seem flat-out wrong during this season, which offers time to convene and connect; to reflect; to give time, gifts and spirit; to sing; to shop, wrap, send and receive; to decorate, host and visit; to bake and certainly to eat.

At the dawning of a new year, I’d like to offer a plea for forgiveness – first and foremost for myself, but also for any of you readers who could use some gentle prodding.

According the Mayo Clinic online, forgiveness “is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. [It} can help you focus on other, positive parts of your life…[and]can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.”

Perhaps most important, the Mayo Clinic site states that “forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

Not only will forgiveness add levity to gatherings, but it will also make you healthier and happier.

To read more on the health benefits of forgiveness, and how you can incorporate it into your own life, click here for the entire PermissionSlips post. My friend and colleague Carol Gullstad and I alternate updating our blog every Monday. Thanks for your continued readership, and have a wonderful New Year.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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