Surviving the Holidays - The Myth of the Perfect Season by Psychic Therese

Published Date 12/21/2017
Under: Love, Relationships & Family

Celebrating at the holidays isn't always easy.

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The classic Christmas scenario in America conjures up visions of families and friends gathered around a roaring fireplace, opening gifts, drinking mulled wine, watching holiday movies, driving around looking at twinkling lights, special dinners and champagne parties. 

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people… more people than you might think.  Especially since the number of traditional households in this country are no longer in the majority, due to many factors. 

For many who are already struggling, the holidays become a time that turns "barely coping on a daily basis,” into a much greater challenge.  

Holiday Memories
If you have lost a loved one, had a recent break-up, have job layoff fears, addiction, estrangement, divorce, financial issues, etc., the holidays can be an unwelcome burden and an alienating experience for those who watch others interacting happily. Or perhaps you are new to the United States and missing your home, family and traditions in your home country. 

Sometimes these holidays bring back family-of-origin memories of grief, heartbreak and loss or memories of much better times from the past.  If your Significant Other is married with kids, the holidays can be especially lonely.

Part of this is because culturally, we are always dealing with the idealized version of what we think the holidays should be:  everyone loves each other, families always get along, there is plenty of money for gifts, there are no alcoholics at the family dinner, no one gets into political arguments, there is no divorce, lovers never break up and no one is ever alone.   

Write Your Own Script
Another dimension of what I see as surviving the holidays is to let go of all the pre-conceived notions of what this season "should" be and deal with "what is," while still retaining the message of kindness, generosity and love, inherent in this season.  Be flexible, be patient with yourself and bring your holiday expectations into the 21st century and write your OWN script!

You have to realize that the myth of the perfect holiday is just that, a myth.  A lot of it is from 70-year-old vintage Bing Crosby movies, memories passed down from grandparents, etc., when the world was a different place.  

Giving Never Goes Out of Style
Love, giving and gratitude will never go out of style, nor will cultures participating in their spiritual celebrations.  But in this day and age, we have to make our own version of a great holiday and not allow ourselves to be burdened by the past, when people had more extended family, at-home moms were a thing, and the world was a simpler place.   

And also, don’t assume that everyone else has a much better time of it than you.  

Put on a Happy Face… Easier Said than Done
Yes, of course, this time of year is genuinely wonderful for a lot of people, but in my work, I talk to many people whose expectations of themselves run counter to what they can do. And at the end of it, they are exhausted, emotionally depleted and somehow, the whole thing never lives up to what they envisioned.  And having that "put on a happy face" requirement, can be exhausting. 

At the very least, I watch some people turning this season into a second job, pressuring themselves, taking on much more than they can handle, working many hours, racing home to cook lavish meals with no time or energy to do so, overspending on certain people to “make up” for past hurts or win their love. And when you have kids, it’s a whole ‘nother deal.  Yes, it’s a tough, complicated time of year.    

Sometimes you WILL find yourself alone on a holiday, but planning ahead can often help with this.  

Check with friends and relatives to see who is doing what and do it early on.  If they are having dinners, get-togethers, etc., get that invitation and plan to bring a dish or a special drink.  

Go see an amazing Disney holiday movie or stream one at home! (avoid Old Yeller and Bambi, LOL)

If you know of any singles who are at loose ends for the holidays, get a group together and make a reservation at a good restaurant and leave the cooking to someone else.  Contact loved one’s long distance for a video chat. 

  Have patience with your emotions and don’t be hard on yourself.  Don’t automatically think that something is wrong with you because you are not jumping for joy this month. Pamper yourself with a massage or buy yourself a little something special.  

  Remember, it’s NOT about material things.  It’s about giving to others, staying focused on what someone else might need and trying to give that to them, be it attention, help at home, or just a conversation over coffee.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot or anything at all.  Time is just as valuable! 

  Sometimes this time of year will offer us a day or two to do catch up at home and work on those special projects that have been waiting all year.  If you feel like it, those days around the holiday or right after can be great for doing this stuff, and gives you a sense of accomplishment at the same time.  If you live alone, trim a little tree and invite a friend over for dinner during Christmas week.  

No matter what is going on in our lives, there are always things we should be grateful for, seriously.  I keep a great saying on my refrigerator: "The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.  Be thankful."  

Remember that volunteering over this time of year is not a cliché.  I personally discovered that it is a very rewarding experience, even if you just give a few hours over this season. When I was volunteering, I met wonderful people from 18 to 80, all of whom had a common interest with me.

You can help at the local homeless or animal shelter, hospital, even for a few days during the month.  Or just say thank you for the volunteers who are already there, by bringing them cookies or other baked goods. That is ALWAYS appreciated and gives you a chance to have a social time with new people who are givers. Who DOESN’T like someone bringing desert to their place of work?

You can make this time as relaxing and pleasant as possible while celebrating YOUR way.

Happy Holidays and don’t forget to call for your end of the year update!

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trinity11: Thank You Therese for this well explained message. And, as usual, you are spot on, I just watched a Bing Crosby Movie, "Holiday Inn". Many of us have lost Love Ones and Christmas is a good time to remember the good memories and honor those loved ones, rather than turn that sorrow inward. Doing something for another does help the heart heal and Christmas is a good opportunity to help and/or volunteer like you said. I'm grateful for Psychic Source, for you,, Therese a wonderful advisor that assists us in navigating life. Mele Kalikimaka Everyone! Be good to yourselves.

Lovingheart: This a great article with lots of good advice. Thanks Therese for the suggestions to help keep the Holidays pleasant.

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