The deer on our acreage are getting lazy. Earlier in the fall, when my three-year-old son would yell from the windows, they would look and scatter, jumping the fences and running into the forest. Now, as I ride the tractor towards them, they look up at me and go back to eating their acorns. When the kids run towards them, they seem to consider if they should move, and today as I drove within feet of them, they didn’t even look up.

The deer are too comfortable.

As the holidays approach, let’s consider and plan for how we will act as we spend time with the people we love. Are we reverting to our old ways and making comments that are better left unsaid? What dangers have become second nature and could put us in harm’s way? Would we have more grace on them if we weren’t related? Would we ask that question? Could we walk into situations with more understanding? Could we set aside history and enjoyed them in the moment? How might we help out or add to the day if we weren’t quite so comfortable, forgetting general kindness, manners, and grace in the ease we feel at home?

When our deer come across hunters, it will not go well. They need to reconnect with their standard protocol, and we may need to reconnect with ours too.  

Let’s not let comfort lead us to be sloppy. Let’s be our best selves, with our best people, and we will likely have a better holiday.

Kirstin Ricketts