It’s that time of year again, and people are preparing for visits from family, getting ready for shopping, and struggling with grief as they celebrate for the first season without a loved one. Some people love the holidays, and some would just like to fall asleep and wake up in January. For many, the holidays are not easy, and for some they are the best time of the year. Whatever they are for you, remember you will get through the holidays, just like you get through everything else. Take some time, get a plan together, and make your plan work.
If you struggle with the holidays, take some time to plan a day with others, that can help remind you of the meaning of Christmas. Our society is very commercial, but the holidays are about family and being with others. No matter what holiday you celebrate, remember that the celebration should be to bring people together and share a special time. The nice thing about the holiday is that you can be family by choice, not just by blood, and have a wonderful day or season. Come together with others around food, fun, decorating, or for other events. If you are grieving, find a way to remember your loved one. If you would rather be home, alone, find the motivation to get out and be with others. Volunteer and serve food to people who need it. Don’t be alone for the holidays if you don’t have to be. Find a place to belong. It will help you get through the holiday, and maybe even help you make a better year.
If you enjoy the holidays, celebrate. Have fun, but remember that the holiday is not about what you buy, or who you buy for. If you think about previous holidays, do you remember the presents or the experiences. I remember celebrating the holidays in my grandmother’s tiny house, with people sleeping in every room. I remember my grandfather taking my cousins and I skating the day after Christmas, while the adults went shopping. I remember sledding, and playing in the basement. As I began making memories with my family, I remember Pillsbury crescent rolls on Thanksgiving morning. I remember the year my daughter was sick, and had to open her presents laying down or she would vomit. I remember getting Christmas trees with my mother that were so crooked that we had to tie them to wall. Go to parties. Eat wonderful food. Enjoy being with the people you love, but don’t make it about stuff.
The holidays are busy, and painful at times, but they can help end the year feeling loved and connected. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, The Festival of Lights, Boxing Day, Hanukkah, or any other holiday, enjoy the season. Find a way to celebrate life, in a way that works for you. It can start during the holiday season, but it can last all year long. Being happy for life, is important. Nobody is happy all the time, but focusing on happiness should be a goal, and being thankful for all that we do have. Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday season.