“What are you doing this Christmas?”
For so many Christmas is a joyful holiday, filled with love and light.
However, it turns out this question triggers some deep-rooted negative emotions for some, such as stress, sadness, frustration, conflict, and guilt.
Has Christmas become an obligation for you? A holiday where you are being pulled in all directions? You feel you can’t please them all, so you’d rather just skip it or just get it over with?
I hear to many of my friends stress about where to go, what to do, who to please and how, and no matter what they decide, they’re letting someone down. They can’t get it right, and no matter what they do, feeling guilty is the result.
🎵 "Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la”. 🎵
The high expectations are hard to meet for many. Christmas is a reminder of loss and grief, or not living up to the expectations.
This can tear families apart instead of bringing loved ones together.
If you are not looking forward to Christmas, apparently, you are not alone!
Why Christmas has lost it’s Jolly and how to bring it back.
The tradition of Christmas is all about getting together with family and loved ones. It’s a time where we want to invite peace back into our lives. A time when we forgive and show compassion and kindness, even towards those that we feel have wronged us somehow.
How you feel about Christmas, when the dreaded holiday approaches, has become a habit. Just like your actions and thoughts around Christmas. For years your experience has been high expectations are seldom met, the holiday often leaves you feeling disappointed and guilty.
We all have to make choices about who we spend Christmas with, and what to do, what presents we buy, what we eat and drink, how much we eat and drink. And somehow we end up feeling unhappy about our choices, especially if we feel we are judged by those we love.
I know I always felt a little guilty when I did not visit my mom for Christmas.
We are letting others down, but what’s even worse, we are letting ourselves down, and we judge ourselves for it.
Next year, we do the same routine all over again.
What is wrong with that picture??
Christmas truly is about kindness, forgiveness, and a time to be at peace.
You can have any Christmas experience you choose. You have to choose consciously and intentionally to feel at peace with yourself.
It is high time to get more conscious and intentional about your choices.
Why not use this holiday to be more self aware, get to know yourself better, and care more about yourself?
That’s right, I said it, care about YOU.
You are so busy forgiving and showing compassion and kindness to others, going out of your way to please others, that you forget the most important person: YOU.
You may think that’s very selfish, which is the opposite of the Christmas spirit of giving!
But giving out of obligation or to avoid feeling guilty is not the right kind giving. Giving to expect something in return is not really giving either. This kind of giving will leave you feeling empty, resentful, guilty, or depleted.
Spending Christmas with family because you have to and feeling resentful or unhappy about it is not a good idea. Demanding family to spend Christmas with you is not a good idea either. Isn’t it rather selfish to put that kind of pressure on any one?
Giving because you want to, because it fills you up and makes you feel good too, giving without expectations, is giving for the right reasons.
How do you get there?
So, whatever you choose to do this Christmas, make sure it is what YOU want to do, because it’s when you have most to offer anyone.
Decide what you want to do and don’t second guess. Give it your all, intend to love it and enjoy it. Let go of any expectations. Bring your true, loving self into the holidays, no matter what.
You can never control how others feel, just manage your own feelings and don’t take anything personally. Decide that nothing will get in the way of you having a joyful holiday. Make it your responsibility.
Visualize your perfect Christmas:
Instead of anticipating a disappointing holiday with stress and struggle, try this:
Once you have made your decision about how you are spending the holidays, close your eyes and transport yourself to the future. Now, the holidays are over. Think about what you are grateful for. What did you love about this holiday? What were the highlights, the best surprises, your dearest moments? What were you doing? How did you feel?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!
My thoughts are with all of you who are missing your loved ones that are no longer with you. Don’t let it stop you from being grateful and experience the love and joy that is there. But don’t push away the sadness either. Remember, the pain and sadness are a reminder of how much you loved that person. Celebrate that love!
Wishing all of you joyful holidays, and may your new year be filled with the love you give yourself, so you have more to give. There is so much love here for all of us.
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