It is “Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas,”…or Hanukkah…or Kwanzaa…or…” for much of Western Civilization. That can mean a rise in the level of joy and happiness, and it can also mean a rise in the level of anxiety. So let’s see if we can diffuse a few of those thoughts in advance of them catching you off guard.
There are so many other cultures/celebrations. Who is right?
If you look back as to how each culture got to where it is today, how they evolved, it is easy to understand how rich the variety of human nature is in expressing itself with celebrations at specific times of the year. We only get into trouble when one group thinks they got it more “right” than the other groups. So be at peace with cultures that are different than yours. We all celebrate love of our families and are grateful for what we have. The fact that there are so many different ways to celebrate just confirms that it is truly part of human nature to do so.
Will I have enough money to buy presents for everyone?
There are SO MANY ways to express how much you appreciate your family and friends. That is really what you are doing with holiday gifts. Think back to what you got as a gift last holiday. Most of us can’t even remember. What we DO remember are those special gifts that someone made for us. It could be food or a craft item or a poem. Those are the gifts we actually remember because they touch us at a deeper level, so get creative in your gift giving and relax about the money.
Here is something to think about in giving gifts to your children. The one Christmas that stands out from my childhood was the one that was the most fun for my father. He had found a bunch of battery operated toys at the local hardware store. I don’t believe they were expensive at all, but it was the 1950’s so they were new and exciting. During the days before Christmas, our dad took every friend that dropped by our house out his car so that he could share his delight at his purchases hiding in the trunk. The joy he shared was as important as the gifts themselves. We could see from the window that there was something magical about our gifts.
The magic carried into Christmas morning when we were finally able to open those treasures. Keep in mind that the kids are watching YOU as they open their gifts. If you are excited, they will be too. They pick up on your emotional reaction to the gifts you give them.
I don’t have a “love” to share the holiday with.
None of us, no one, not anyone is really alone. There are so many level’s of “love”, and personal love often isn’t a joyous as it looks from the outside. So reach out for a level of connection that is available to you, to everyone. Love after all does come in degrees.
The upside of the expansion of the Internet generally and social media specifically provides opportunities for many, many people to connect on SOME level that they didn’t use to have available to them. I like to play games on the Internet and connect with people all over the world as if they were sitting right across the table from me…well its not QUITE the same as being in the same room, but I still feel the connection. What ever you are interested in, there is a group or person available to you on the Internet.
There are many clubs and groups and places of worship that offer gathering places too. It just isn’t possible that all humans will match up with a partner exactly at the same time…just not possible. So if your present condition isn’t what you consider ideal, don’t let your attitude about it hold you back from opening to a new, perhaps less intense but still valuable connection.
Mid winter celebrations have been held by all cultures for centuries. A time to gather together, take a rest from our toils, and say “Thank You” for what we have. If you start to feel anxious during these holidays, try to touch into that ancient feeling. Find a new way to connect that you hadn’t thought of before. We truly are a global family and you are a member.
We are all lucky that we have each other…and that is worth celebrating!
Sandi Schwartz says
Wonderful article! My spirit is smiling:)