Television. Movies. Retail stores. There is nowhere to run. It is coming, and it is coming for us. Thy name, thy horrible and wonderful name: Christmas.
So what is an unrestricted view of Christmas? The conventional thought and feeling is we are to feel happy, feel joy and be merry for Christmas. But what if you aren’t? What if your memories and feelings of Christmas do not assimilate well with the eggnogged masses. As one who has had such a jaded and pessimistic view of Christmas for many years, here are some tips to survive the Christmas invasion.
1. It is okay to feel how you feel.
If you do not like Christmas for whatever reason, that is okay. Own those feelings, embrace them. Ask why? Go deeper and ask yourself: What is it about this day or time of year that invokes these feelings I’m experiencing. For years, I either forced on the Christmasface and went along with enjoying Christmas, or I avoided it all together by working at a job to get holiday pay and ignore the day. However, I am discovering, by going deeper, why I don’t like this time of year and what it is I am truly avoiding. Avoiding those memories. There is a tender place there for me that correlates with this holiday, perhaps the same is for you. And that, my friend, is okay. I encourage you, don’t run from the feelings. Don’t ignore them. You don’t have to let them have control over you and restrict you from Christmas or anything else in your life. We can be free…
2. Find that one thing that you can enjoy.
For me, the one thing I have always liked about Christmas was the music. As much as I wanted to shut myself off from the season, the music always found a way to reach me. Find that one thing you can enjoy about Christmas. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the reason behind it, maybe it’s just having the day off from work, find at least one thing you can make your own about Christmas. Perhaps, if you are daring, create that one thing for yourself. Start your own personal tradition. Who knows, maybe it will catch on. Everything started with either one person or a small group of people.
3. Do something for someone else.
Yes, this can be tricky. And yes, I understand you might not feel like it. I encourage you, I even encourage myself, to go do something for someone else. Be it a friend, family member, co-worker, whoever, just do one thing for that person. It doesn’t have to be a gift, really, it doesn’t. Christmas 2005, I volunteered at a soup kitchen and it was such a rewarding experience. All I gave was my time. I have found that doing something for someone else, or even the harder thing sometimes, letting someone do something for me, feels really good and gives me a break from living inside my head. Major benefits can come from doing for other people. There are probably groups, churches or organizations that could use you to volunteer for Christmas. Go, share your awesome self with someone else. Yes, you have something to offer, and yes, the world needs you. Just as you are. Perhaps a positive experience will occur. When that positive experience merges with time, it becomes a positive memory. We can all use a collection of those in our internal memory bank.