Christmas and Holidays
Posted on Dec 16, 2011 by Josephine Robinson
Christmas and the holiday season can be a wonderful time of year, with families enjoying time together, showing their love for each other through kindness and gifts. Yet it can also be a very difficult time of the year, fraught with misunderstanding, arguments, or loneliness and sadness. The expectations are high - so how to allieviate some of these difficulties?
Firstly, remember that expectations are killers! Keep focussing on enjoying what you are doing right now - not on the future outcomes. If you are yelling at your children so that you can get on with making them a 'happy holiday' in the future, something is wrong! Involve children and relatives in preparations. Remember that everyone wants to feel relaxed and have fun - what's the point of perfection if it results in misery? Perhaps perfection is an inclusive concept, which takes account of everyone feeling perfect, rather than being in awe of some idea of perfection manifested by someone. It can be lonely up on the perfection pinnacle!
If you are a relative or friend going somewhere for the holiday season, ask what you can do to help and be involved - don't leave it all to one person. Offers of help are always appreciated and there's a way to be a good guest. Appreciation and the effort to get on with other guests/members of the family is definitely the way to go. No-one appreciates a grumpy guest!
If you are without family and friends, get involved with helping other people. Charities are always grateful for help at this time of year, and it can be so rewarding and fun to be part of a team effort helping others. It's an old truism that helping others helps you too.
Ultimately, we all have to take responsibility for ourselves. No matter what tensions exist, try to remember:
* Everyone is doing the best they can, with the resources they have available. Even if they are behaving badly, on some level they think it's the best way to go
* Try to stay calm and focussed on enjoying the time together
* Everyone has their own version of events
* Maintain your own integrity - don't let yourself get derailed
* Forget about your expectations and concentrate on what you can realistically offer with love and happiness
* Drop resentments and regrets - start anew!
... and Happy Holidays!