Hello Brains and Hearts! I suspect you know who I am, but you might not know why I’m here. First of all, people get a lot of messages about the holidays and how they “should be.” These messages, they may come from TV, movies, other people, songs, or even YouTube channels. [Theme Music] We get the idea that if things don’t happen exactly like we expect them then we’re doing them wrong and we should feel guilty. No-ho-ho-ho-ho! Your life isn’t a movie or a greeting card and you shouldn’t feel guilty if it doesn’t turn out the way you expect. On that note, Santa has a bit of a bone to pick with Norman Rockwell. I don’t dance around the workshop with a bottle of Cola. No-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho! Santa likes macchiatos. and panforte, and I always make sure to stop in Tuscany whenever I’m flying over the Mediterranean delivering gifts. The point is that holding yourself to the “perfect holiday” can hurt you if you’re too strict about it. It’s one thing to have a goal in mind, but it’s another thing to think that you’re a failure if something goes wrong. Some people have complicated histories with their families, their childhoods, or any number of other things, and that can make the holidays a complicated time. Close relationships can be stressful no matter who they are. I love Mrs. Claus. I know she loves me. The elves are all wonderful! But we don’t always get along. We’re the only people in the North Pole, and we are there all the time except for our twice a year workshop vacation to [bleep] We sometimes get on each other’s nerves and that’s okay because we always work things out, and I know we will. Santa’s friends that Take This – a spectacular mental health organization and all of whom are on Santa’s nice list – tell him that there’s no one way you should feel. Emotions are tricky, and none of them are wrong but for some people, the stress around their biological families is just too much, and it’s unhealthy. One amazing resource is our chosen families. Our chosen families are the ones who accept us and love us for who we are. These might be your biological family; they might not be. Reaching out to them with a quick text or phone call can be an amazing source of support (so can being around them). Some of the best people on Santa’s nice list choose to spend their holidays around their chosen families. Another tip is to decide ahead of time how much time you’re going to spend at holiday gatherings. You don’t have to spend the whole time, No-ho-ho-ho-ho! It’s okay to spend an hour or two and then say goodbye. And underestimate your limits. It’s always better to have extra energy than wear yourself out. And Santa has never been to a party where it wasn’t okay to step out for a few minutes to find a little peace or quiet. Bathrooms are also a great place to take a break for a few minutes. It’s also okay to find a buddy at a party who you trust and who brings you comfort and joy. It’s okay to ask permission to spend the party with them because there’s lots of people there. [sigh] and peopling is hard sometimes. If a person wants to talk about something that you don’t want to talk about, it’s okay to say “no, I don’t want to talk about that.” Or, better yet, give them the topic you would like to talk about. “Politics is boooring” “Have you seen that TV show, The Good Place?” It’s all about who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. [ding] If you’re curious to learn more tips about taking care of your emotional and mental health, make sure to go to the website takethis.org Now, Santa needs to go prepare for the big delivery! Thank you to the very special Brains and Hearts that make this channel possible. You’ll have something special in your stocking this year. Now help me give Jessica the present she asked for Like, subscribe, jingle the bells, and go find a million other people, and tell them to do the same. Bye, Brains and Hearts, and have a Merry Christmas! Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!