Surviving Christmas is a topic I hear way too often among my clients. Christmas should be a time of peace, unity, and joy. A time of faith, restoration, and hope. But sadly, commercialism has made it difficult for many to enjoy the holiday season.
This article discusses one way to cope with the stress of Christmas time.
Make it meaningful
What are you doing this Christmas to make your holiday stand out? I often recommend that my clients pursue a meaningful Christmas.What is Christmas if it isn’t meaningful, purposeful, or engaging? And engaging doesn’t mean you have to be around a lot of people. Engaging means that there is a reason for you to stay plugged in. There is a reason for you not to “dissociate” or “fake” your way through it. There is a reason to remember everything about it. You have a reason to snapshot the memories of this day in your mind forever.
Why I suggest surviving Christmas include true meaning
When I was 10 years old I found out that my great-grandmother had been struggling with dementia and was worsening into stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her illness was so traumatizing for everyone within the family. The disease was unexpected by my family which led to Christmas time not being a priority for my family at that time. Sadly, I didn’t realize this until my mom and grandmother told me we could not spend Christmas Eve shopping at our favorite stores. Although many of our (my brothers and I) Christmas’s included gifts that were chosen without our awareness, this Christmas was different. There was nothing.
My mom and grandmother created an exciting tradition in which every other Christmas Eve was the time we would shop at a toy store for gifts we were free to choose ourselves. It just so happened that my great-grandmother became very ill during the year of this tradition.
Despite the shock of my great-grandmother’s illness and the change in tradition, Christmas Day turned out to be one of the best Christmas’s I had ever had. We were certainly loved.
What not getting a traditional Christmas did to me
I woke up Christmas Day, looked around at a beautifully decorated home, and saw my immediate family all together eating breakfast. I sat down at the table and listened to all of the funny and heartwarming stories my family discussed. My heart was warmed by their love, their collective energies, and the beauty of the day. For my family, the recognition of the Birth of Jesus and love between family was an important focus of the day. I can say, now that I am so much older, that this Christmas changed my life. It changed my outlook, my expectation(s), and my focus forever.
How will you make your Christmas mean something this year?
Do you have a heartwarming story to tell? Do you have tips for surviving Christmas stress?
Feel free to share your experiences below.