Have you been called “Scrooge” before? Can’t enjoy the holidays? There’s nothing wrong with you. You just “celebrate” differently.
Some people enjoy the holidays. They celebrate the hustle and bustle, the shopping, the decorating, the cooking, and the back-to-back parties.
Some people choose to de-emphasize the presents and celebrate the decorations and the spirit of giving around them. Some people are cynical and see nothing more than people being “brainwashed” to spend a lot of money because “that’s what people do”. Or a scheme by the department stores to have people spend more money than they have.
Others are reminded of people who have passed. They feel sad because they remember the traditions they shared when their family member was alive. They still need time to heal.
Many ways to “celebrate”
As you can see there is not just one way that we are “supposed” to celebrate the holidays. Make the holiday time work for you, in whatever way fits. It could be a time to get away to some place that calms you, or a city that you have always wanted to see. Or to just focus on all of the sports teams playing on TV. Or maybe to go see a game in person! Try not to feel “obligated” to attend parties or events. Pick those activities that give you pleasure.
Some people see New Year’s Eve as a time when you are “supposed” to be at a party having fun. Others may use this as a time for quiet experiences. For example, taking inventory of the past year and seeing what was good and where your struggles were. How can you make it better for yourself in the future? Some people use that time to set goals for the new year.
On your own for the holidays?
Some people look forward to the opportunity to socialize with other people. But what if you are pretty much on your own? Being with others through service makes most people feel better. That’s why it is hard to serve food to the homeless on holidays – because so many people want to feel that they are giving to others in meaningful ways. They look for shelters that serve special meals on the holidays because they feel blessed to have food on their own table and gifts under the tree.
But what if you just want to be alone and get through the holidays? That’s okay too. But make it work for you. Rather than drinking to excess, or taking pills to sleep through the holidays, why not do something that makes you feel good? For example, watching movies you’ve looked forward to seeing but never made the time to see. Or filling your house or apartment with music that touches your soul and lifts your spirit? Or engaging in some activity you have always wanted to do, but never had the time? Choose your own way to celebrate.
Look to the source
Lastly, I always look at the source of my decisions. Do they come from an avoidance of something negative? Or do they come from something that makes me happy? Those decision-processes do not get us to the same place. Be aware of how you decide to spend the holidays. You can sit and sulk, or you can make it work for you and celebrate in your own way. Look forward to a future article where we will revisit this concept of analyzing the source of our decision-making.
In the meantime, I hope you each find your own special way of dealing with the holidays. Remember, make it work for you!