1. Breathe deeply like an animal. After all, you are one. Oh yes. You are.
2. Smile. Your pets don’t roll their eyes when dust balls roll into view. So what if your guests by the Yule log sipping vegan eggnog roll theirs?
Shrug off their reactions the way a dog shakes off bath water.
3. Feel the love. Tell your pet how much you love him/her. Feel cushy warmth pulsing between your hearts.
Remember that secure, safe feeling when your ex shows up at a holiday party with a new partner.
4. Take a deep sigh of relief. Comforting to know that your pet will not even think of returning your present, let alone frown if you don’t give one.
Remember how nice that feels as you hand a grouchy relative a present.
5. Feel absolute gratitude. Your pet will not think harshly of you, criticize you, or abandon you regardless of how dysfunctional holidays might make you act.
Bask in counting all the people who love you just as much.
6. Hug your pet.
Imagine that feeling trickling down into the last ten days of shopping.
If you want to feel really good, imagine with your whole heart that your love is tumbling out into the world like a soft, warm waterfall into the loneliest, most cruel places of despair…i.e., factory farms, animal research labs.
7. Keep in mind how sweet it is to give and receive. Whether you’re in traffic at a standstill, or stuck in line at Macy’s on Christmas Eve, remember…
Love is what you are.
8. Patience. Be kind to yourself.
Remember not to pull your hair out anymore than you would pull out your pet’s – or any animal’s – fur, feathers, or scales.
9. Unconditional acceptance in the Spirit of the Season. Feel as if all beings – human and non-human – were your dearly beloved pets.
Love. Love. Love. “Love is all we need” to change our world.
Ask your pets. They know. Our pets are masters of surviving the holidays with us. They make it look so easy. After all, they are animals…just like us.