Written by Jewel Carter
Got the holiday blues and the season’s just beginning? How do you handle all the merry and cheer all the visions of dancing sugarplums, when all you want to do is stay in bed with the covers over your head? In bed…alone with your holiday dreams that involve every holiday caroler being run over by Santa and his sleigh.
My family was never big on tradition, but that didn’t stop me from wanting that for my own kids. We were actually doing very well for a while. Every Christmas Eve we would drive around looking at the light displays in the neighborhood and exchange one gift before midnight. Okay, so that’s as far as we got. What I like most about the holidays is the opportunity to not have to do the same things the same way with the same people. But, that’s just me.
For the past two years I’ve been trying to convince my family to go on a cruise for the holidays. That way we don’t have to do the whole, who’s cooking, who’s house are we going to, who’s not going to have enough money after the holidays and complain about it until they do it all over again the next year.
It never ever occurred to me that there were people out there that didn’t enjoy the holidays, until I became involved with one. I didn’t realize the influence that he’s had on my life until one day (I don’t even think it was November yet), I heard a Christmas song being played on the radio and I threw something at the radio and screamed out loud…”Oh, hell no…not yet!” I’m not ready to deck the halls, un-ravel the lights or decorate anything.
It’s funny that two people with very similar childhoods could come out of those experiences with very different reactions and attitudes. He looks back and remembers the pain of “not having”, not being able to give or of people eating and drinking too much. I remember the fun of looking for things around the house to wrap up to give to my mother. I recall the look in her eyes when she realized that she loved the gift so much because it was something that she already owned. I also enjoyed pretending that I wasn’t an only child and instead of just my mom and me there was a table full of family eating and drinking too much… together.
It’s my personal belief that sometimes you have to make your own happy memories. No, we can’t erase the painful memories of our past. But, we can choose to focus on something else. Again this year I invite you all to reach out to someone that you know has a hard time around the holidays. It’s not only the people that have little or no family around them.
If you are the one that suffers from pre or post-#holiday depression, outside of the obvious (talk to a professional), I suggest that you double up on the things that make you the happiest. If you normally get one massage get two or do two hours instead of one. Oh, then there is my new personal favorite, the four hand massage…two therapists at once. You’ll thank me later.
If you love children and don’t have any of your own, volunteer to read at local Children’s Hospital’s or volunteer with an organization that gives gifts to less fortunate kids or kids with a missing parent. If the opposite holds true, think ahead and book yourself on an adult-only cruise or into an adult-only resort. This may require some planning on your part, so think ahead.
Don’t get caught up in what “others” think the holidays are about. You decide what makes you happy. You choose where you want to go and with whom you want to be with. I know that that’s easy for this only child to say. But, don’t think for a moment that there haven’t been some pressures in my adult life with my family or in-laws wanting more time or all the time spent with them. Ultimately, you are the creator of your happiness. If the problem is that your mate wants something different that you…compromise.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the commercialization of the holidays. Take some time out to reflect and remember the meaning in the season, no matter what your beliefs are. Happy Holidays, here’s to love happiness and good health wrapped in a bow put into a box with your name on it.