Sunday, December 23, 2012

☺ Holiday Season; Stress, Family, & Bringing Back the Magic! ☺

We're one and a half weeks away from Christmas! If that isn't exciting I don't know what is! It's a special time of year when things are a little more magical, people are extra happy, and everyone is a little kinder to one another… or at least that's how it should be. I know that, sadly, the reality is often the opposite. The holiday season has its own load of stress to unleash. Money is tight and yet we run around spending it all on material presents. Parents fight with each other in toy stores over getting the latest must-have gifts for their children. Families stress over making a big huge family dinner. There are presents to think of, find, and buy. There are christmas parties to attend, errands to run, shopping to do. And if your family is like most then it is dysfunctional and untamed and can draw out unresolved issues, emotions, and stresses. Not to mention it's the beginning of the winter so many of us feel the effects of the lack of sun and therefor Vitamin D.

But worry not! I'm not trying to paint an unhappy picture for you only to say, "now have fun with all that hectic stress! See ya!" No, no, no. I am here to bring attention to what you may already be aware of (and if you're not, draw your awareness to it so that it can be remedied--should it need remedying) and remind us all that the holiday season doesn't have to be stressful. Remember that you get to choose after all what you want in your life, how you are going to react, and what you are choosing to do. 

I want to place emphasis once more on the family issues, because I feel like this is the time of year when things can get especially dramatic and draw out those family issues and problems we have within ourselves. I know, personally, and from hearing the stories of many others, family is a tricky topic. Many families have divorced parents, abusive characters, are dysfunctional, or in other cases are just plain bonkers. But I want to say very firmly, you are not alone! Families are not perfect, because people are not perfect. We are all on a journey trying to learn more about ourselves and life, how to behave, how to grow, and how to be human. Everyone stumbles, has issues, and has trouble in their various relationships. And that's okay. So if it distresses you to feel like your family is not "normal" and happy and enjoying the "perfect" holiday season, then know that this is not ideal, normal, or probably common. And, again, that's okay. Think about it, even in all those magical sappy movies there is always a problem that needs resolving before everyone can be happy and enjoy each others company and life. In that sense, the movies actually aren't too far off, because, such is life. There are problems and issues that need resolving in order for peace and love to shine brighter. And if you want a happy ending then it's up to You to choose it. You write your own story! You get to choose the ending.
All the people and events in our lives shape us, make us who we are, provide us with lessons, and make us richer people. Your family may not be perfect, but if you are fortunate enough to enjoy the holiday season with even one special person in your life then be grateful and happy and enjoy every second if it. Don't focus attention on the things you don't have, instead enjoy the things that you do have. Be grateful and mindful of all the things you have in your life. Don't spend so much attention on the negativities within your family or your life, it does you nor them any good. People don't change overnight. Some people don't change much at all. But You can choose to be the person you want to be. You can choose to be happy, joyous, caring, giving, and jolly. You can choose to surround yourself with the people that genuinely care about you and love you and with whom you receive an equally beneficial relationship with. Your family is not just your parents and siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Your family is made up of the people who enrich your life; your friends, significant others, acquaintances, pets, and so on. So spend your holiday season with the people you love and enjoy, and embrace and be grateful for their company and that sense of community. Cherish what you have. And that is how you can bring that magic back to the holiday season. Be extra kind to your direct family as well, forgive and be easy on them, even if sometimes it feels like they don't deserve it. But you don't have to spend the entire day with them, be respectful of your own needs and happiness. Enjoy their company when you are with them, and then move on without carrying that extra baggage with you when you depart. Resolve conflicts that need to be resolved. Self-reflect if you need to self-reflect and realize what within your family still upsets you. I've said it before, but you must help yourself first in order to be of good to others. In truth, the holiday season may draw out family drama, but if it does then it should be a sign to you that there are still some things that need to be worked on. And this shouldn't stress you out. Take it with a deep calming breath, accept it, remember it is there to make you a stronger person, and figure out what you need to do to deal with it. If that isn't immediately clear to you, that's okay too. The path will become clear, just don't carry the negative baggage around with you to dampen your mood. 

Enjoy the holiday season because you can choose to. Choose to be kind and happy. Choose to be giving and caring. Choose to carry around that extra bit of magic and holiday spirit with you and pass it on to others. Make your life and the holiday season as brilliant and vibrant as you are. Remember, you choose. So choose to enjoy the magic and childlike wonder of this time of year. Make it magical and wonderful. After all, how ever you choose to celebrate it, it is a pretty fantastic time of year when we let it be.


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