Christmas season is definately a time of happiness, a season to be celebrated and enjoyed. When i think about Christmas i love remembering what it felt like as a child , having amazing lunch with my parents and brothers and sitting at the table for hours chatting and laughing, putting up the christmas tree and the sound of christmas songs on christmas morning as we got ready for church.
Last week i spoke to a dear friend of mine who shared with me her dread and dislike of the holidays. She felt like this season comes along with so much stress and expectations. And refelecting on our conversation i realise that as so many celebrate the holidays many cant wait for them to end.
Why is it that this season that is meant to be filled with joy, peace, happiness instead brings feelings of sadness and loneliness for others?
May be you lost loved one around the festive season and from that time on christmas and all other holidays make you sad and depressed. Maybe you are a single parent, divorced with kids and as much as you are doing your best for your children, you still feel that holidays will never be the same.Maybe you are dreading buying gifts or you hate receiving gifts !! May be you are dreading the big family gatherings with relatives that you haven’t spoken to for the past year.
There are so many reasons why this season carries feelings of dread for alot of people. All the planning and organising towards christmas ,buying and wrapping gifts does get overwhelming. And at the end of it all you just want the new year to be here already. How do you address dreading the holidays? This year lets refocus our approach to Christmas. Here are a few pointers that i shared with my friend hopefully these will help bring back the christmas joy and spirit back for you ;Lets get back to the basics..to the simple things.
Let us create time for family experiences. Christmas is not just about getting and giving gifts. Do not go in debt just so you can get a gift for everyone on your long gift lift. How about making or creating a thoughtful gift instead of buying one. That will take some pressure off . A secret Santa exchange is also another fun way to avoid spending so much on gifts. Instead of everyone giving a gift to everyone, simply draw names and have each person give a single gift to another person. Read here for another frugal gift exchange idea.
Acknowledge anyone that is missing maybe through sharing a story or you can decide as a family before hand how you would like to do it.Maybe making an ornament in their honor and putting it in the christmas tree.Yes there will be some sadness but the richness of loving memories will bring some warmth into christmas.
Make a donation to a charity or do something for the less fortunate around you.Let this season be an opportunity for you to engage in loving kindness and generosity to others around you.Many people in our communities are suffering with no food, no job,no shelter and the holidays magnify these bad situtations. Look out for these people and offer a helping hand.
Gratitude. Count your blessings and think about the things that you do have other than what you dont have. Yes you might have had the worst year ever but you are still alive , you are healthy,that is reason enough for you to be grateful. Gratitude is reminder that one can always fins areason to be happy.
Do what makes you happy. Break free from all the expectations that people might have of you or that you might have of yourself during this season. You don’t have to decorate with red and green if you dont want to, or feel pressured to put up a christmas tree at the end of the day do what pleases you and what makes you happy. Celebrate this holiday in your own way.