Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The meaning of Christmas

Seven years ago, Christmas marked the beginning of the end of my marriage.  Ever since then I have struggled with the holiday season.  It is a season of joy, family, giving and peace, but for me, it is also punctuated with feelings of loneliness, pain and thoughts of what "could have been."  I love the holidays but I also find myself looking forward to January 2, when the pressures of the season dissipate. 

I know I am not alone.  There are many who have suffered loss in their lives and the holidays are often difficult for them.

This year I will try to give myself the gift of acceptance.  The acceptance that the peace and anticipation of Christmas Eve will also likely bring me to a place of darkness; a place in which unpleasant memories come flooding back.  The acceptance that the holidays do not have to be joyful all the time.  I will try to give myself permission to feel those not so Christmas-y feelings and move through them.  Because allowing yourself to feel is truly the only way to get to the other side.

I hope that if you find the holidays difficult as well, that you will give yourself permission to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Debbie! How did it go? I think you're right to give yourself permission to feel sadness ... it's a complete fallacy that the Holidays are only about being happy. My grandfather died on Christmas Eve and even though that was more than 25 years ago, I still replay it every year. The sadness is compounded since both my parents have also passed. But all those memories are so tied up with Christmas it would be impossible for me to live through Christmas without remembering. And it doesn't stop me from enjoying Christmas now with my kids. It just is what is.

    Happy New Year,

    Mandy

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