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Elephants for Christmas
How do you avoid the unemployed elephant in the room?
I don't know about you, but in my family one of the most time-honored holiday traditions is the annual ignoring of the giant elephant in the room. Like the African and Indian varieties, the holiday elephant can come in many forms – it can be plugging its trunk because Grandpa forgot to close the door to the bathroom, or, as in the year when I had gained nearly 20 pounds, wearing a pair of too-tight elephant pants.
This year, for my family and many more across the country, the elephant will likely have an addiction to the Craigslist employment section and will be developing arthritis from filling out job applications. Whether the subject of job loss will be completely ignored, brought up in hushed funeral tones, or joked about openly depends on your friends and family, but chances are if you've recently lost your job, you might be made to feel awkward at some point over the 12 days of Christmas. So, how do you keep the awkardness to a minimum and prevent the elephant from charging the dinner table?
First, keep your head up. Unfortunately, you're in the company of millions of talented Americans who are also without work, so you have nothing to be ashamed about. Second, keep in mind what the holidays are really about. CJ Arabia, a blogger who writes about unemployment for Lemondrop.com has this gem of advice:
"Next Christmas no one will remember the scented candle or makeup bag that you didn't get them. No one is going to remember that you wore some old dress you've worn a million times to their holiday party or that you didn't bring a bottle of wine to dinner."
What they will remember, is how happy they were to see you. Make the holiday count. Don't worry about what you do or don't have. After all, when else will you be able to avoid the crazy hot mess that is the mall 24 hours before Christmas? -Joy Hepp