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Friday, 16 November 2018 02:49

Ask AC - Family Holiday Harmony

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Dear A.C.

My father passed away two years ago.  We weren’t close.   My parents divorced when I was nine, he lived out of state so we never got close.    There was no love lost between him and my mother.

I have a younger sister, who found us about a year ago.  Her mother is dead so,  basically, she’s an orphan.  My mom knows about her but has no interest in meeting her.  I have two older brothers and we have been getting to know her.  My mother knows about it and hasn’t discussed it with any of us. 

It’s my turn to host our family Thanksgiving.   I’ve invited my sister, she’s excited.  I’m hoping it goes well and we can be together at Christmas, too. (Fingers crossed!) What I don’t want is my sister to walk into an emotional ambush, or my mom to feel uncomfortable.   Any suggestions for how to help make Thanksgiving be special for everybody. 


Dear Hopeful,

Wow!  Awkward.  You’re testing the limits of the reason for the season.  I’m a big fan of the holiday season; the food, music, laughter, decorations, food, parties, having family around (and did I mention food) make for memorable times. I understand wanting to share it with your sister.  But….  You must let your mother know she’s coming as well as how much it will mean to you for everyone to get together and get along.

Let your mother know as soon as possible that you have invited your sister.  Give her time to digest the information and emotionally prepare.  Consider that though you happily have found a sister, your mom may have to face an old wound.  Tread carefully! 

In addition to preparing your mother, try enlisting the entire family to participate in a “Happy Family” holiday.  Ask everyone to steer clear of land mine conversations from sports to politics, and limit their conversations to things that are Truthful Helpful Inspiring Necessary and Kind (THINK).  Ask if they have any ideas to insure everyone enjoys their time together like games, music, etc.  Leave grievances behind.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how effective Happily Family works. 

Good luck and enjoy your happy family!

Read 820 times Last modified on Friday, 16 November 2018 02:57
Ask AC

Got a question? AskAC.nohoartsdistrict@gmail.com

AC is an East Coast transplant who became rooted in the SFV.  “Yup”, AC said “I found a place in North Hollywood years ago, and though I’ve traveled the world over this is the place I call home.  Well, also Massachusetts because that’s where I was born.  I think of  Hawaii as my second home, but I don’t own property there so maybe I can’t count that.  I was going to say Paris, at first cause I am very comfortable there, but then, you know I’m American and I don’t want to be too pompous.  So, yeah, I guess the San Fernando Valley is home.”

A street scholar, majoring in hard knocks and common sense, AC, attended night school receiving a high school diploma.  With a thirst for knowledge, AC continued education included many, many on line courses and seminars from selling beets at your local farmers market and how to shuck clams to Introduction to wine.

AC has been offering advice to everyone, whether they ask for it or not.  At times AC’s advice has been met with animosity and physical threats.  None the less AC preservers.   “It’s my calling” says AC, who urges readers to send in their confounding queries; “If you want advice (in the words of the 45th President), ‘what do you have to lose’, Ask AC?”

What makes AC’s columns unique is that it feels like you are getting advice from a friend, a person you can rely on for lively, no-nonsense feedback.  Ask AC is the best advice columnist by a Los Angeles mile."

AC resides in North Hollywood has two children, is an animal lover and has an active social life.  An adventure sport enthusiast, writer, performer, corporate baby, and community volunteer.  AC devotes time to family, community and in the service of others.  

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