I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need. Please don’t talk about my sickness while we’re around the Christmas tree.
Look, I’m a huge advocate about normalizing mental health and physical health topics. I yearn for the day when all illnesses are taken seriously and met with support. I know that honesty and transparency are the key to getting rid of the taboo of discussing chronic illness.
But there is still no circumstances that will lead me to want to have a family-wide discussion of my health. For example: Christmas dinner. We’re all gathered around the table as a family. And while I’m touched my grandmother or cousin would remember my struggles from earlier in the year, or want to help me with something that they’re worried could cause me problems because of chronic pain… I still don’t want to host a writers’ room on the topic.
One on one is great. A small group can be lovely. But, similar to one’s relationship status or political stance, it is simply not a great topic to try and discuss with your entire extended family all at once.
So please. Be kind this Christmas. Don’t bring up my medical history over dinner.
Or ask anyone about their exes.
Or utter the words “Donald Trump.”
Family-wide conversations should probably only be conducted on the subjects of the current meal, the weather, and memories.