How to Deal With Holiday Stress

Here we are at Christmas eve. I know that not everyone celebrates the holiday, but we are in the time of year where several gift-giving traditions are occurring at the same time. The Winter holidays is a time when people gather with their families, share joy and give to one another.

It is a happy time of year for some. I am fully aware that it’s a tough time of year for others. Often this holiday can remind us who we lost and what we can’t afford to give. But, I would like to invite everyone to change around how you focus on these feelings. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have them. I am saying that instead of pushing them down or allowing them to overtake you that you can invite them to join the holiday in a way.

At Christmas-time, I find the memories of people I loved and lost come flooding back. In my mind, I can see them coming through the door of my grandmother’s home walking in with huge smiles on their face. I can remember retrieving their gifts from the tree as a little girl. Instead of feeling sad about it, I smile as I remember those memories. My family will talk about fun memories of those family members. One of my favorite holiday memories was how my grandmother could make great food and bake amazing cakes, but she would always burn the biscuits. They would be rock hard every single time. It was as if she was fatigued by all the cooking and just neglected them. It was a collective joke among all the family. We would wait to see if the biscuits would be burnt and she never disappointed. It was an amazing irony and I’m smiling now as I type this.

Our country is on a “fiscal cliff” and millions are still unemployed. Everyone should understand that not everyone has money to go crazy this Christmas. Whether they do or not, it’s not loving to yourself to spend all of your money trying to impress people during the holidays. It’s much more loving to give modestly and from the heart. The nature of a gift is that the giver is proving that they are thinking about the receiver. If you put some real thought into your gift, you can give something that shows that person how much you love them without breaking your bank. The commercialism of the holidays has convinced us that if we are not spending ourselves into debt that we don’t love others.  If someone doesn’t like your gift, it doesn’t take away from your intention of giving it. Sincerity is a wonderful, rewarding gift. Let someone know that you know who they are, what they love and make them feel your love. You can do that with a handwritten note.

This holiday is a time for joy and caring. If you don’t have money to spend, you can give of yourself in other ways. You can find ways to serve. You can donate your time, your presence and your heart to others. Everyone has a talent and you can share that talent with others. This holiday, if you find yourself feeling less than the spirit. You shouldn’t deny the sad feelings, but wallowing in them won’t help you either. You can change the way you think about it.  The best way to feel love is to give love. If you are feeling less than festive, give love to others, remember good memories and spend time with people who you love. Any of those things will make your Winter holiday a happy one.

Happy Holidays, my friends. Thank you for reading!