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Personalities and Happy Holidays

Posted Nov 18 2008 11:52pm


Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is just around the corner. Most of us greet the holidays with tingly anticipation...sometimes mixed with a little dread. Festive gatherings often stir together a variety of personalities and sometimes the results can be explosive.

Today, Purely Personalities is going to take the dread and the edge out of your plans by exploring holiday personalities. So make yourself comfortable and get ready to understand The Personalities lurking around the Thanksgiving turkey and dancing around the Christmas tree.

Christmas cookies The Holiday Sanguine: Sanguine personalities are a time keepers worst nightmare. They tend to be late for everything and it's difficult for them to follow a schedule. Holiday Sanguine wants to do it all...bake cookies for every Tom, Dick and Harry in town, run the church Christmas pageant, and whatever else they can't say "no" to. And because sanguines love to shop no matter the time of year and especiallyin December, they will buy Christmas gifts for immediate family, first and second cousins, third cousins twice removed, and the lonely widow down the street. They often spend more than they should but, bless their hearts, they are generous people that would benefit from a financial manager.

Keys to surviving the Holiday Sanguine:

  • Don't be offended if they show up late to your party or dinner

  • If holiday budgets are tight, don't let them shop alone

  • Recognize their emotional need for fun like attending holiday functions and being the life of the party

  • Encourage them to prioritize holiday activities so they don't get over scheduled

Grinch The Holiday Choleric: Choleric personalities are the movers and shakers. Holiday parades, lawn decorations, and pre-lit Christmas trees all exist because Holiday Cholerics are like Santa's elves on a mission. Holiday Cholerics like to be in charge and accomplish things. My husband has our Christmas lights up the weekend after Thanksgiving and down the day after Christmas. A holiday choleric preparing food flexes her mission-minded muscle in the kitchen and is quite capable of whipping up a meal for a thousand guests without breaking a sweat. She likes things done efficiently and will get a little prickly if someone gets in her way. Holiday Choleric isn't usually as outwardly festive and social as Holiday Sanguine, but they enjoy the season in their own "scowly" way. God bless the cholerics with hidden hearts of gold.

Keys to surviving Holiday Choleric:

  • Don't be offended if they aren't as warm and fuzzy as your mittens or the Holiday Sanguines in your family

  • If they are on a mission, stay out of their way

  • Recognize their need for control and accomplishment

  • Acknowledge them for all the things they do to make the holidays special

Christmas tree and gifts The Holiday Melancholy: The holidays are beautiful because of this personality. Their presents are usually the prettiest ones under the Christmas tree, they have a reputation of giving the most delicious treats to friends and neighbors, and they can decorate a Christmas tree worthy of the Baby in the manger. Holiday Melancholies strive for perfection during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but are easily disappointed when Holiday Sanguine shows up late or Holiday Choleric forces his or her "better" ideas into their precision schedule. Holiday Melancholy is usually one of the best cooks around, so if you are lucky enough to receive a dinner invitation from this personality, take them up on their offer. However, in the midst of all the holiday hoopla, don't be surprised if the melancholy steals away for some quiet time. Thank goodness for these beauty-loving people.

Keys to surviving Holiday Melancholy:

  • Don't be offended if they are more schedule oriented than you

  • Be sensitive to their need for perfection and structure in the midst of holiday chaos

  • Recognize their need for solitude if they don't participate in games or group activities

  • Spend some quiet one-on-one time with a special melancholy in your life

Peace on earth The Holiday Phlegmatic: Phlegmatic personalities enjoy the holiday season as much as the next guy but, you'd never know it from looking at them; they tend to be even keeled even during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday Phlegmatic will attend social functions but, they often find such gatherings stressful, especially if they don't know many people or the party gets little raucous. If you give Holiday Phlegmatic the choice of a social night out on the town or a quiet evening curled up with a book in front of a toasty fire...they'll usually pick the book and the fire. Social settings tend to drain drain this personality so don't be surprised if a phlegmatic guest quietly disappears from the action like Holiday Melancholy. People and too much activity tend to overwhelm both these personalities. Bless these peaceful people.

Keys to surviving Holiday Phlegmatic:

  • Don't be offended when they enjoy celebrations in a subdued manner

  • Recognize their need to flee social chaos

  • Don't be surprised if they step in to keep the peace if family feuds erupt

  • Remember to spend some quiet quality time with the important phlegmatics in your life

Understanding people's personalities can help diffuse perceived insults during the holidays. People are people and usually aren't trying to offend others with their actions, they are just being who they are. That isn't an excuse for bad behavior, but it may help keep non issues from ruining holiday festivities. During the holidays we need to keep the Apostle Paul's words in the forefront of our minds "If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:18 NRSV). Using knowledge of ThePersonalities makes it a little easier to live this wonderful New Testament verse.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!


(c)2008 Shona Neff 

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