I love Christmas
I love Christmas, though not to the point of starting my Christmas shopping in August and putting the decorations up on the first day of December. Twelve days on either side is a nice balance for me.
Christmas isn’t always fun
At the same time, I know through personal experience Christmas can sometimes feel like a desolate place. When a relationship has ended, a loved one gone forever, a diagnosis confirmed or an income lost, the overindulgences which have become part of “Christmas” can throw a cruel light on feelings of scarcity, lack and loss.
This is the tightrope we walk during the season of goodwill to all. Even if it’s not you who’s been affected, someone you know and care for may be feeling lost and alone. Supporting them and wanting to celebrate at the same time is a difficult balance to achieve.
Christmas has become synonymous with overeating, overdrinking, overspending, overindulging, overstressing, being over emotional and generally overdoing it. I include myself in this, I love the feeling of celebration and joy Christmas can bring. I’m also aware I feel less need to overdo it when I’m feeling settled and happy.
Getting the balance right
So how can you find balance this Christmas? And how can you feel like a “have” rather than a “have not”?
Gratitude turns what you have into enough.
Gratitude. Not for the number of gifts you receive or parties you’re invited to.
Gratitude for the things you already have, like…
- A roof over your head.
- Friends, family, neighbours or colleagues who know you exist. Granted they may not always know how to help you, and they may be busy with their own lives, but because you have them you are never truly alone.
- Having food to eat, it doesn’t have to be a feast to be better than starving.
- Your senses through which you experience the world.
- Being alive.
- Always having a choice, even though it may not feel like to you.
That you are here – that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
If you believe in the Christmas story, seeking the gifts within that in your own life story can also help. Personally, I have found this extremely comforting. To know I have had a second chance or felt joy, even if was a long time ago, always gives me hope I may know these things again.
- Unconditional love.
- Second chances.
So if you feel you are about to fall because it’s all become too much, or because you are feeling so, so alone, see if you can find time to quiet your mind, take a breath and remind yourself that happiness comes from gratitude, and not the other way around. And this means happiness is yours to find whenever to need it.
I think that’s something to be grateful for, how about you?