i’m not one to ever push religion or speaking passionately about it to someone who’s faith varies from mine. but tonight i attended a service that really stuck with me, so i feel compelled to pass it on.
a few days ago i realized that i was really not in the christmas spirit. i didn’t want to hear christmas songs, shop, or attend any holiday party. i could do without the cookies and the constant smiling and the led lights.
it’s not that i was throwing myself a pity party; i just really wasn’t feeling this whole ‘holiday’ thing.
there’s so much pressure during this time of year to be so happy, have so much fun, give such good gifts. i felt so left out for not feeling the christmas spirit.
but tonight my pastor reminded me of something that i had forgotten.
it’s okay to be not okay.
whether or not you’d like to admit it, life doesn’t stop for the holidays. stress doesn’t magically melt away when christmas songs start playing. the loss of a loved one doesn’t suddenly hurt less because pictures of snowmen and reindeer are plastered all over. pardon my french but, shit still happens during the holidays.
i’m still battling severe depression, anxiety, and insomnia this time of year. family parties are a struggle to attend. my dad is deployed working 20 hour days protecting the same people that trample each other at the mall. my best friend is still dead. my great grandmother is still in hospice.
the meaning of the holidays isn’t ensuring your life is as perfect as those vomit-inducing hallmark movies (aka the christmas prince). christmas can still be ugly.
it’s important to remember that this time of year doesn’t have to be about unadulterated joy. it’s about family, friends, love, giving, gratitude.
the holidays are about appreciating the people around you, those that support you, those that you love. it’s about recognizing how blessed you are, and giving to those less fortunate than you.
you might be thinking ‘how can i give to the less fortunate when i’m struggling financially?’
well my dear friend, giving is not just about money. you can donate your time, your efforts, your thoughts, your services. it’s not all about the $$$.
we idealize the holidays. commercialism raises our expectations to unreasonable levels.
life may be hard, but you don’t have to be a scrooge – just do your best to spread love and you’ll be just fine.