Every time this time of year rolls around, it seems some nasty behaviors start. So, if you're a client working with a professional spellcaster, please keep in mind the following points.
1. Remember your worker has a life outside of work, and during this time of year, we might be out buying gifts or making holiday plans, too. This is true any time of year (well, perhaps not the holiday plans, heh,) but it seems quickly forgotten in December. I find many people "forget" my business hours (and ask for readings at ridiculous hours,) or that wouldbe clients find no problem getting angry with me for not being around on a Saturday night at 10p (which is my day off, and definitely outside of regular business hours.) While I'm sorry so many people have their schedules mixed up this time of year, I'm in the same boat. ;) I have guests, I have to get to the post office, I have to remember to cook a double recipe of cookies, etc etc. - AND I need to work 12 hour days five days a week just to get everything done at this job. So, while I feel you on the "compressed time schedule being stressful" part, that doesn't mean I can just change my schedule (nor should you expect any professional spellcaster or professional anything to do so,) to work around your current schedule. Further, I might have limited times for availability merely for having to take care of my outside-of-work life. Getting mad at your worker (or me if that's one in the same) for having a life out of work isn't helpful to anyone. :P
2. Your late payment could mean that bill we can't pay, or that gift someone isn't getting. Also, this is definitely NOT the time of year to try to get free services. Many professional spellcasters are far from rich, and this time of year, the offerings get even more spare as people spend on gifts for their loved ones rather than on services. With the knowledge that many of us professionals are already working with a fraction of our usual payments, it's key you bring payments in on time, and also don't waffle about, wasting time for things you have no intention of paying for. Every spellcaster I know groans every time we get an email implying we're to teach - for free, of course - some ridiculously complicated spell to a person who thinks a one candle spell is enough practice to be an "intermediate spellcaster." This is almost always accompanied by some indignant drivel about how could we be so money-hungry and fucked-up as to imply we should get paid to do our job, which includes paying for private-tutoring on how to cast spells. My goodness, some of the high and mighty bullshit I've read would make some of your heads spin. Apparently I'm Judas, Hitler, Rasputin, and Saddam Hussein all in one because I have asked someone who took 45 minutes of my time up to please compensate me for the time I'd spent DOING MY FUCKING JOB FOR FREE if they wanted me to continue instructing them on how to cast their own spell. Furthermore, "setting lights" costs money, and people will just ask for someone to "set like five lights" for them. Hmmm, so you wanted me to spend $25-$30 on you during the spare-est time of year when you've not bought anything since July? I don't think so. ;)
3. The person responsible for keeping holiday depression away is yourself, and not your worker. I see this all too much: "I just wish so and so were here for the holidays, and if s/he isn't, I will be too depressed to go on." You know, speaking from experience, I have a few holidays with several bad memories attached. I don't flip out every year and force myself to re-experience them. Christmas has some wonderful (got a train set as a kid! got drunk and got rug-burns when my then-boyfriend and I got Christmas-smashed on asti and booze! got an iPad!) memories, and some awful (Christmas throwdown, the early 2000's "poor Christmas," let's break up on Christmas,) memories, too. Pretty much every holiday I can think of that people really celebrate (so not just get a day off of work, but get together and celebrate,) has both good and bad memories associated with it. The way I manage to just EXPERIENCE THE HOLIDAY, that is, rather than RE-EXPERIENCE A GOOD OR BAD HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE, is to reasonably assume each year that experience will be different, and to just deal with it as it happens. This is really easy. For example if I know my friend Billy-Bob (who doesn't exist, but for example purposes,) who I've seen every Christmas for the last 20 Christmasses won't be around this year because he had a debilitating stroke, and no longer lives locally, NOT DWELLING ON HIS ABSENCE will prevent me from making myself depressed. Or, if I had a particularly fun Christmas with an ex (and, gentlemen, a few of them were very fun, and thank you,) but this year is looking boring and not full of sexy fun-times, I can still be happy by trying to keep Christmas fun with the people who will be around.
If none of you got that, it's a pretty direct bit of advice that a holiday is fun regardless of who's there, if you just try to make it fun. If the holiday carries a bad memory (and hey, I have some shitty Christmasses-past myself,) then try to embrace the positives and enjoy it as much as you can. That's how to keep away the holiday blues.
4. Avoid booze-fueled diatribes... Tis the season of office parties, and I find sometimes also those of booze-soaked nonsensical rants in my inbox. No, not from me. ;) I enjoy a good Stolichnaya but if I'm drinking more than 2, I'm not working. ;) If you've imbibed too many holiday spirits (see that pun I made there?) perhaps you should make sure you stay OFF your smart phone and avoid contacting your ex, your ex before your ex, your significant other (if you're thinking of saying anything very controversial or rude,) and your spellcaster until you've sobered-up.
5. Keep in mind, many people are stressed during the holiday season, and for that reason try to give everyone a bit more patience. I remind myself this very thing every morning. I remind myself this when I got to a restaurant, or a shop, or call customer service this time of year. Why? Because so many people are on edge or cranky from their stress. I find everyone appreciates it - I know I do. ;)
***Photo credit - I found this roving around in memes on facebook but if it's yours and you want credit, or if you want me to remove it please let me know! I will give you credit and/or remove it immediately upon request. I think it's hilarious and adorable. ;)***