It’s inevitable every year. While it’s supposed to be a time for joy, cheer, and remembering our blessings, for many of us, it’s the most stressful time of the year. Last-minute present shopping for picky gift-receivers. Grocery shopping for those traditional family recipes that are just too difficult to follow …
The Christmas holiday.
You might dread the whole shebang not because Grandma gets upset if you don’t wear the itchy homemade sweater with the glittery elves she gave you. Rather, it's because of the one side of the family that is strictly against what you’re all about—the right to arm yourself, which you exercise everywhere legally possible.
So how will you get through the holiday without losing your marbles? Or worse, causing a major chasm in the family?
Everyone has their own beliefs about where they choose to concealed carry in legal public spaces. The same goes for family get-togethers during holidays or reunions. You can prepare yourself by reviewing your own values and your family’s house rules, as well as considering a few factors:
- If you will be drinking alcohol at this gathering, don’t bring your concealed carry. Some states outright ban carrying while drinking or being under the influence, but nevertheless, it’s the wisest choice.
- Respect house rules, whether they pertain to carrying guns or a different boundary.
- If you choose to carry, ensure your concealed-carry position and holster are optimal for sitting down and for hugging relatives. Mitigate any risk for an averse family member to discover your CCW and become upset.
- Focus on common ground and discussing topics that bring you closer when conversing with family, such as traditions, positive holiday memories, and aspects of each other’s lives that don’t revolve around guns or politics.
- Communicate privately with any relatives who may have a concern about your carrying and calmly express your reasons for doing so, emphasizing your past training and responsibility.
- To wholly avoid any slip-up or accidental encounter, leave your CCW locked in your car or at home. Determine whether you can go without it for the event or choose a legal alternate method for self-defense.
- Remember you are not there to try to convert anyone to love guns or support certain gun rights. There’s no need to be on offense or defense if the topic arises at the dinner table.
- If you simply cannot compromise your convictions on a friend or relative's house rules on firearms, you'll have to decide which is more important to you—knowing that it might result in declining the invitation altogether to gather at the holiday.
Above all, family time is limited and precious for those who are lucky enough to spend time with extended relatives. In a time when America is full of polarizing opinions and is quick to dismiss people for the sake of defending personal values, we can choose to connect with others on shared beliefs. Prioritize loving and respecting your family members, and harmony may be the best Christmas present ever this year.