If you watch TV or turn on the radio from Thanksgiving till January 1st, you will be see depicted an alternate universe in which everyone is happy, shopping till they reach the bounds of human endurance, buying a family member a Lexus, and wrapping two hands around a toasty mug of something when one hand is more than sufficient. Christmas is supposed to require all this odd behavior. It’s enough to make you sick. Especially if you fall into any of the following categories on Christmas Day (and someday, you will):
(1) You happen to be sad or stressed; (2) you happen to be broke; (3) you happen to not celebrate Christmas; (4) you’re struggling with your spiritual/religious identity; or (5) you’ve got business to handle and you wish people would get back to work!
I feel for you. I have a few ideas to help get you through December 25th.
First, contrary to popular belief, Christmas lasts just 24 hours. You’ll survive it.
Second, if Christmas hurts this year due to your life circumstances, cry. Don’t stuff it down with egg nog and false jollity. Cry all you want. Remember that this, too, shall pass, but it absolutely will NOT pass if you don’t get it out and express it. Crying has never killed anyone. On the other hand, holding hurt and anger in has claimed millions. I remember about ten years ago the office building I worked in hired a soprano to sing carols in the lobby. When she got to “Oh, Holy Night,” I started crying so hard I was almost screaming (I did step outside at that point). At the time, my relationships with two very old friends separately were reaching the ends of their seasons. I needed to mourn. But “Christmas” says I was supposed to have on a Christmas sweater and be singing along. Meanwhile, there I was, shrieking in business casual. It was no fun, but had I pretended not to hurt, I would have dishonored the love I had (and still do) for those people. That’s not Christmas-y.
Next, let other folks know how you’re living this Christmas. There are plenty of people who secretly are not having the Hollywood version of the holiday. They desperately need you to fess up and say that you aren’t, either. Then you can get together, microwave dinner, and have some laughs. Or you can just nod knowingly at one another, shut your respective front doors, and feel a little less odd in the bargain.
Please don’t think every Christian is having a deep religious experience this holiday season. They aren’t. I recall wrapping gifts late into the night one Christmas Eve with my mom years ago. The Pope was on TV doing the Christmas mass. For some reason, I broke down and admitted that I really didn’t get the Christ thing. My mother quietly agreed. I thank God that in the ensuing years, Jesus came into our lives in big, obvious ways, but I really think it was our moment of honesty that opened that door. Not every Christian is so lucky. If that’s you, take some time this week to ask for a message that even a two-year-old can understand. Then keep your eyes open!
If you’re doing Will Be Done Coaching with me or simply writing your daily Willingness lists (I explain how to do these on the Women Killing It! podcast linked on this blog), telling the truth is vital. Truth is the language the Universe speaks. So if you do it with no one else, resolve now to tell yourself the truth about what you’re willing to be, do, and have. I promise that your life will change powerfully, and for the better.
For everyone: you are not alone, even if your phone hasn’t rung in six months or you’re housebound. You are loved, and there is a power wiser than any of us that is all around us and in us. Should your energy cease to be, that grand power would cease to be, because you are an inseparable part of it. We all need you. We all love you.
So . . . Happy Do YOU holidays, everyone!