I am somewhat of a Christmas fanatic. I love the spirit of the holiday. Not the things, the care and compassion. The giving. The holiday spirit. Call me sentimental or delusional, I love it. Give me a Hallmark movie with those shocking plot twists, a fuzzy blanket, a fire and a glass of- let’s pretend it’s water and I am perfectly content. Add Christmas lights and some holiday music and I am downright giddy with glee. This year isn’t exactly merry and bright though. I could list all of the awful things that are going on and then I could even add some more. All of those horrible things are real and they are happening. The question is what do we do with the holidays this year? Should we pretend that everything is okay- skipping around and singing “Joy to the World” or should we close the blinds and wail in the darkness? Perhaps there is something in between. I can tell you what seems to be working so far for me.
1. Express your feelings to those you trust. You are entitled to your feelings. Your feelings are valid. It always helps to share your thoughts on what is currently going on. Often you will find that the other person can relate or has had a similar experience. At the very least, they are able to listen. We all deserve to be heard.
2. Find a way to connect virtually. This is definitely not the year to have a blowout party, inviting everyone you know on earth. It’s just not safe. What we can do is FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, or whatever your virtual choice is. Sometimes I am apprehensive about connecting with friends and family this way; but once I get on the actual call, I find myself laughing and reminiscing with loved ones. It’s almost like we are together. If technology isn’t the way you want to connect, at least be creative. I have heard of parking lot meets. Pop the trunk on your SUV and talk to your friends from a distance. Schedule a time to drive by and blow and wave at friends and family. We should continue to have contact, just not physical contact. Taking the time to call or text someone could provide much needed comfort. Reach out but don’t touch anyone.
3. Get moving. You know what all those scientific studies say, movement helps with endorphins. You automatically feel better when you move. It’s science. Dance, go for a walk, do some jumping jacks. I would say join a gym, but I’m trying to be a realistic and I’m saving you some money. Raise your hand if you have ever kept your gym commitment. Let’s move- for free.
4. This the perfect season to go light on the gifts. I understand if you have small children and you just can’t help yourself. Your child MUST have that Paw Patrol three-wheel scooter and how will any little tot learn to cook without a 50-inch play kitchen? This is definitely the year to be frugal. It is a good idea to save or donate to a charity. We all have too much stuff anyway. (See my last article).
5. And the final step. Like I always say, exhale. Take a break. Take a day off if you can. Pray. Meditate. Have a social media fast. Do something that you want to do. You can learn a new language online, learn to crochet or maybe even discover the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. You are worth it. You deserve it. When you are refreshed, you are better at your roles — husband, wife, student, teacher, daughter, son, etc.…
This year I find myself rereading so many scriptures. One of my super short favorites- “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. And that my friends, is what I am working on.