Metal Sister Blocks Hawaiian Holiday

(Dear Readers: This is another popular post from three years ago. With so much hot weather lately, I suspect thoughts of December are welcome!) 

Dear Vicki: The holidays are approaching and I recently had a very frustrating conversation with my sister, who I am pretty sure is a Metal. We are both married with children and have always had Christmas dinner together since we were children. This year, my family has the opportunity to go to Hawaii for Christmas to stay in a friend’s timeshare for free. We live in a cold climate and this would be fantastic for my family. However, my sister is very upset at me for even considering doing something different for Christmas than we have done for years, which I think is quite unreasonable on her part and is making me angry. What should I do? Signed, Hoping for Hawaii

Dear Hoping for Hawaii, First let me say I think it’s amazing that you’ve managed to spend every Christmas dinner with your sister since you were children. What about your  respective spouses’ families? Have they never had Christmas dinner with you? My Wood fairness hopes that it’s just a matter of everyone living in the same town so that holiday time is equally shared with both sets of relatives. But that’s not the problem you wrote in about, so let’s talk about your dilemma.

I do believe you are correct in your assessment – your sister definitely sounds like a Metal. Traditions are very important to Metals, and for good reason. They have the ability to look back across the cycles and see what has worked and what hasn’t. And to a Metal, if something is working, why would anyone in their right mind want to change it? You don’t mention what your element is, but the fact that you think she is “quite unreasonable” and is “making you angry” suggests that you are probably a Wood. Since Metal and Wood relate via the Controlling Cycle (metal chops wood), her insistence on following traditions likely feels stifling to your sense of excitement in planning something different.

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Thanksgiving: Traditions, Metal, and Fire

Dear Vicki: I need help. I just found out that our traditional family Thanksgiving is at risk. Earlier this year my brother Derek married Leslie, who I’m sure is a Fire. She’s funny, scattered, and has no structure, a fact that became apparent last week while discussing Thanksgiving. We usually have a private dinner for the 18 of us, but that seems to be out the window because Derek and Leslie are hosting the holiday. And they are dumping the turkey and throwing a party for 50! How can I get things under control and back to the traditional Thanksgiving we all love? Signed: Disgusted Guy in Denver

Dear Disgusted: How to celebrate Thanksgiving brings up lots of issues here in the States. This isn’t really too surprising because stress and expectations around the holidays often make our differences more apparent. But worry not, there is hope for the holiday. Let’s start by looking at the key players in your scenario.

It’s wonderful news that your brother has married. If Leslie is as Fiery as you say she is, and Derek enjoys that, it means he probably has a great deal of Earth (Fire feeds Earth) or Water (they’re attracted to the light and activity of Fires, the yang of summer to Water’s wintery yin). Derek probably isn’t a Wood because he’d feel burned out by too much Fire (Wood feeds Fire), or a Metal because he’d feel threatened by too much Fire (Fire controls Metal). And it’s unlikely that he’s a Fire himself or you would have mentioned how similar Derek and Leslie are.

If Derek is either an Earth or a Water, he won’t have much structure (Wood and Metal are the most structured of the elements), so will be less concerned regarding exactly what happens around Thanksgiving. If he’s a Water, he’ll be perfectly happy going with the flow. If he’s an Earth, he’ll just want everyone, especially his new wife, to be happy.

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