I’ve seen some posts from people lately reminding us that not everyone is filled with cheer at the holidays. Some folks are grieving for loved ones who are not here to celebrate with us. Sometimes, it’s a long distance separation that puts a damper on the holidays. Lack of resources may leave some people frustrated and fed up.
We call this the season of miracles. The Christmas message is one of hope… Glad tidings, if you will. We tend to romanticize Christmases past. When you contrast those memories with todays realities, you can feel profound disappointment. Remind yourself that it’s like comparing Summers as a kid to Summers now. Like comparing Saturday mornings eating cereal and watching cartoons with grown up Saturday mornings. I’d like to share some things that I’ve found add deeper enjoyment to this time of year.
Whether you are Christian, or not, you can gain an understanding of Christmas, and its symbolism, by reading the first four chapters of the New Testament in the Bible. These constitute the “gospel” of Jesus Christ, and tell of his birth and the first part of his life. This may be Holy to some, and merely interesting to others, but will help you reflect on the point of it all.
Shop within your budget. Don’t kill yourself with credit card bills the first of the new year. I’m not telling you this because I’ve never done it. I used to do it quite a bit, but since I stopped, Christmas is a lot more enjoyable for me. By all means, buy gifts for those you love, just don’t take out a loan on your 401k to do it.
Do at least one or two “Christmasy” things. There are a ton of feel-good holiday movies on television this time of year. If you are lucky enough to have a light display nearby, go have a look. We try to take at least one trip to our favorite garden center, to see the model Christmas train display. I know that some of you get annoyed by carols of the season. I like to sing along. I do get funny looks at the grocery store, so sometimes I turn it down to a hum.
Don’t let the pressure get to you. Sometimes, I think it’s easy to feel responsible for everyone having the perfect Christmas. Like so many other things, just do your best… and don’t stress! My friend, Amy, would recommend that you pause and take a few yoga breaths when that happens. It may seem corny, but she never steers me wrong with that. If you’re so inclined, it’s a great time for prayer and meditation. Those efforts can also have a calming effect when you’re needing to press pause.
It doesn’t matter if you’re gathering with a big family, or doing Christmas on your own this year. Remember to be kind… to yourself and others. Be thankful for Christmas memories. Be emotionally present for this year’s celebrations. And look forward to what’s coming up in the New Year. It’s going to be great!