If you're like me, not every holiday brings unending hot cocoa, peppermint sticks, and a golden turkey. Maybe you feel more like the overlooked people in the back, the peanut stand, or the adult at the child's table. Perhaps, the warmth you feel this holiday season comes with a pillow, a thick blanket, and a perpetual desire for sleep. You're not alone. Not every holiday brings joy to all and a good's night rest.
I'm not here to suggest those feelings of joy and overwhelming happiness can't be in your future. I am meerly hinting you might experience something else entirely, and that is OKAY! Many people have loss to endure, illness to trudge through, and maybe even sadness and depression that abates for nothing and no one. In our highly commercialized expectations we look to the last two months of the year to hold all the missing pieces. We look for the silver lining without acknowledging that gray clouds without the shiny stuff happen too. To top it off - everyone wants to wish you a happy holiday. Well bah, humbug to that.
What if we start this holiday season with present mindfulness - have a holiday that fits your life moment(s). Enjoy what you can, find the happiness where you can. BUT, if that is not in the cards this year then perhaps, perhaps, spaghetti for Thanksgiving and cup of tea or coffee is just fine. Allowing the imperfections and the moments of truth is more important that struggling with trying to find eternal bliss amonsgt times of other-than. I am not discouraging those of us that can say our holiday has been great and everything it should be, I am saying it is okay if it isn't.
Maybe you lost a loved one this year and it hits hard. That's okay.
Maybe this year you are mourning a job lost. That's okay
Maybe you are spending your first holidays alone (as many are - thank you COVID) and you feel that loss of tradition. That's okay.
I come from a background of not being with family during the holidays and let me tell you, it's hard. The first time and each time after, it's hard and it sucks! It's okay to feel that way, you don't need my permission and you certainly don't need anyone elses. Feel the way you feel without guilt. Living in negative-land isn't for the every day approach just know if you have that day you aren't on that promise land alone. So, maybe I have a couple pieces of advice to help you depart negative-land and arrive at present-land. Here goes:
Yes, purposefully create a new tradition (popcorn and a movie, take-away dinner).
Yes, mourn your losses, just limit it to half a day (OR pick a different day to do your new traditions if you need to).
Yes, decorate your space, a gathering isn't needed to put up some twinkle lights.
Yes, take a bath, take a walk, take some time for you.
Yes, get out of your bed.
This year has been truly difficult for many, with obstacles erecting in every possible plan, destroying hopes and devasting ambitions. Some have flourished don't get me wrong and I celebrate them, but that is easier than accepting many haven't exactly done as well. Yes, there are things, like the advice above, to help subside the sadness, but for those that just want to normalize what they are experiencing - I want you to know I hear you. You are not alone in this moment of time where atypical is the new norm and creating something out of nothing is expected. I hear you. I feel it too.
I believe in my heart of hearts, we will make it through and the holidays will be in the rear-view mirror looking way easier than it was driving through. I believe that. In the meantime, know that I am here sipping a hot cocoa, watching sappy holiday movies, gaining weight, and waiting for the promise of better while trying to enjoy the present. We don't all have a hallmark-themed home with every toy under the tree waiting for the perfect picture. I am not one who wants perfection; I prefer my messy house with noise, arguments, a few gifts, and sometimes burnt breakfast (not that often). I am here with you soaking up the moments, as they are, accepting my present and that is more than okay.