Are you beginning to dread the upcoming holiday season?

Have you begun to think, “I just do not know how I am going to sit and smile at them for one more year,” or, “Am I going have to have to pretend to get along with her, again?” or, “Oh gee whiz, another Christmas with him?.”

If you are beginning to feel those questions you may have a case of MAS, or Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome. If one of the “those people” happens to be your spouse, you may be looking at some serious trouble with Spouse Avoidance Syndrome (SAS).

The good news is that there is still time before you have to smile and pretend that everything is “fine;” you have a whole month to “spruce up” family relationships before you have avoid that person beneath the mistletoe; you have two solid months to make Auld Lang Syne really mean something when you sing together New Year’s Eve.

The bad news is that if you don’t do anything you are looking at a replay of last year. The worst news is that if you do nothing at all you can look forward to another holiday season just like this one, next year.

It is not too late; it is not too late to take an inventory of relationships that don’t work and repair broken lines of communication in and around your family.

Right warms no beds; truth is a cold companion. Whatever lies between you and them, real or imaginary, is in the past.

What will matter is your relationship with them in the coming months and years.

What there is to do is to reach out and touch someone, start a dialog, swallow a gallon of pride, and apologize; ask for forgiveness wherever and whenever you can – even if you were right.

Paradoxically, they may very well be waiting for you to call them. So why not call first – and get to be the hero for being the one who got the ball rolling again?

If the person you are dreading being with is your spouse, stop now. Stop whatever you have been doing (it hasn’t worked, has it?), and get yourselves to a relationship repair professional: a counselor, a pastor, or another person with whom you feel safe.

Einstein reminds us that insanity is,” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Looked at in another way, shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza gifts is a whole lot easier when you actually like the person you are shopping for.

There is no good reason to suffer any longer than it takes for you to realize that you are suffering from

Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome.

Reach out and touch someone; add some serious warmth to the coming season of Joy.