I am certain that many people love the holiday season. Whether you subscribe to Santa, a manger scene, a Hanukah menorah, or just the season of joy and generosity, the winter holidays are a bright spot in an otherwise cold and dark time of year.
We can’t help but acknowledge, however, that with all the sparkling lights and cheery colors, this season rings a sad tone for many, many people. Remembering lost loved ones, being made more aware of one’s aloneness, and generally not feeling the same joy that the ads all say you should be feeling–this is the experience for a significant number of people.
As our Muse has pointed out, we don’t always feel a fun, good spirit. What do we do then? There’s no one answer to that question, and there’s rarely what most of us would call a “good” answer. In that light, I simply want to say, you are seen. You are heard. We stand with you, sit beside you, walk next to you through this season.
To quote myself, “The effects of a good spirit are felt by others, some who are near to us and some who are in the larger collective. This is why it is so important to be true to ourselves and authentic in our relationships.”
Our relationships are the most important things this season. Be it biological or found family, your coworkers, or someone you sat next to on the train this morning, we all relate to others. And, whether you are the person I described in the first paragraph, the Christmas Spirit incarnate, or the person in the second paragraph, just trying to get through the month, your relationships and how you are able to relate to others may make the difference between becoming Scrooge or his nephew Fred.
For those unfamiliar with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, it’s the story of a very wealthy man who was incredibly selfish. He is visited on Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. The Future is a grim, dark, unkind place for Mr. Scrooge, and he is given the opportunity to change his ways and mend relationships, one of which is with his cheery, Christmas-loving nephew, Fred.
So, now we have a choice. We can’t just choose for sad things to not be sad anymore, or put reality on hold, but to quote the Muse one more time, we can “seek out a good, fun thought and stretch ourselves out, and enjoy it for a while.”
I’m not forgetting about those of you who don’t struggle with a deficit of joy. You are so important. This is where you bring goodness to your fun spirit. With the awareness of others around you who aren’t ready to bubble over, you can thoughtfully share your joy, without aggressively forcing it on them. Your happiness is essential to lifting the spirits of those around you and keeping a positive world spinning.