Ah, the holidays. A time to grab a cup of hot coco and stir it with a candy cane. The nieces and nephews around the table, grandma’s famous pie, dad’s ridiculous joke he tells every year, and crazy gag gifts from your uncle. A time of crisp cool air, with the scent of cinnamon, crunchy leaves. A time to give thanks and hold hands with family around the table.
Some of you are lit up with smiles right now and your hearts are glowing with the many good memories that can take you all the way back to childhood. But I know for some of you, none of what I said is familiar to you. Why do I know that? Because everything I described above doesn’t exist for me either. In fact one of the most awkward questions you get asked is, “Don’t you miss your family for the holidays?” (Check out 5 Things You Should Never Say to a Child Abuse Victim)
With the exception of the few times I was in the US to celebrate the holidays with my Aunt Joe (I’ve talked about her a little in My Friend is Anorexic. How Do I Help?), I do not have any good memories of the holidays from my childhood.
For many of us the holiday season can be difficult. It could be due to family complications, maybe you lost a loved one, a friend passed away too soon, a relationship you put everything into ended, etc.
So how do you get through the season without staying depressed the entire time?
In today’s thinks I want to share with you a couple of things that have helped me to think more positively and enjoy the holidays in spite of the hurtful memories.
Its ok to not be “Holly Jolly”
Depending on if you’ve had time to heal from your loss or hurt, you may realistically not be ready to be festive. It’s ok to not feel like attending all of the Christmas parties.
If you don’t feel like you can be around a crowd of people, tell a close friend or significant other how you are feeling. I’ve found this to be especially helpful when experiencing loss. Sometime all you need is a good friend to sit together, eat popcorn, and reminisce about memories of your loved one. You may not be ready to laugh or attend a party. And that’s completely ok.
Bye bye bad vibes!
Maybe that guy had the nerve to dump you a week before Christmas. Or maybe the girl you thought was your one and only didn’t feel you were hers. Whatever the reason that relationship ended, it can be a hard when people at the dinner table are asking why your single again. The next think you know, you’re asking yourself the same thing.
“What did I ever do?”
“Why am I the one that’s single?”
“Who is he/she with now?”
As tempting as it is to insta stalk…
You know exactly what I mean! His new GF may have no clue what happened but you just want to know what it is that made him think he was getting an “upgrade”. Honey, don’t do that to yourself!
You go rock that new dress and haircut! Show up to the party, try that new lipstick you wanted to, and wear that shirt you love that she hated! Don’t let someone who didn’t treat you right stop you from missing out on a good time. Their bad vibes are not worth your head space!
Thanks for the memories
I remember when Seth and I first got married 5 yrs ago, it was hard to not have bad childhood memories pop up for both of us. So we decided to make extra effort to make memories of our own.
If something “traditional” makes you think of something negative, replace it with something you start on your own. Your new traditions don’t have to make any sense to other people either. Replace all of the negativity with new happy memories that you can share with the people who love and care for you.
I promise it also gets easier as you create your own memories through the years. The first few years may be a little to tough to fight the negativity (and trust me, it may have to consciously fight every year), but I know from experience the more you replace the bad with the good, you will have more positive things to hold on to.
This year Seth and I are going to Texas to pass out toys to the kids in Rockport. We are so excited! We’ll be returning on Christmas day and exchanging stockings when we get back.
Make your holidays special and memorable for good reasons.
I hope this weeks thinks was helpful to you for the holiday season. I hope you are able to enjoy your time with the ones that love you whomever that may be. Thank you so much for reading today’s post! I’ll see you guys next week!