Christmas is here again. Shopping malls, news, restaurants and TV flood us with images of happy families celebrating. Christmas carols are everywhere. No matter what you do and where you go, it seems like Christmas is following you like a shadow and there’s no way to escape it.
Not everybody loves Christmas. Some of us are spending Christmas alone. Sometimes Christmas brings back unwanted memories. Worse, sometimes it brings cherished ones. On occasion, a carol or an ornament brings a heartbreak. Another times, the holiday season reminds us of someone who is no longer with us.
There are many reasons we find ourselves blue and / or alone at Christmas. We may find ourselves besieged by the invasion of Christmas and don’t seem to be able to escape. And the gift-giving obsession, don’t even get me started!
Well, here is a little Christmas present from a life coach: don’t run away from Christmas! Embrace it! Holidays are time to feel good and you too, can – and should! – feel good. Like any celebration, yours too will require some preparation…
The holidays afford us time for ourselves. Some celebrate Christmas – or another holiday meaningful to them – and New Year. If you are alone by fate or by choice, this time is a gift you can use for “time travel”.
• Was there ever a Christmas you loved? If not, remember another event or situation during which you were genuinely happy.
• What location / image(s) reminds you of the happy time? Locate or gather them. (Digital images are best!)
• What person? Get the person’s picture. (Digital is best!)
• What music comes to mind when you think about the happy time? Find it and have it on standby. (Digital is best!)
• What scent did you smell back then? Let’s say cinnamon, for example. Buy a cinnamon-scented candle.
• What food do you remember eating? Name one item and – if possible – try to purchase it or something like it.
Make your home warm and cozy. Make yourself comfortable. Light on the candle with the happy scent. Take a warm bath. Prepare your favorite drink, be it a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Wear your favorite pajamas, robe, warm socks.
Turn on your laptop: it’s time for a little time travel. You have the images and music ready to go. Before you start, ask yourself one simple question: are you glad you had the experience you’re about to relive?….
Go! Watch the images you prepared while listening to the music you associate with the time and place. Remember the person / people, the place, the feelings, the scent, the taste. Take your time. Watch it twice.
How lucky you are to have a memory like the one you just relived! Not all glitter is gold: many of the “happy families” celebrating holidays together are not as happy as you may think. Few people are blessed with memories like yours.
Recharge yourself! Load up on the feelings you had back then. Think how blessed you were to be with the person you loved, the place you’ve been. How precious the moment and the story that led up to it is. How much you’ve been loved and appreciated.
Life is made of memorable moments. They teach us something or give us an opportunity to be thankful. Your memory affirms your value as a person. You are worth loving. You learned a lot and have plenty to share and teach.
Take the love and hold it close. Take the power and appreciate it. You are not alone and have no reason to be blue. New Year is just around the corner. How will you honor your memories, the person you love, the lessons you learned to lift up others?
Believe it or not, the cure for feeling left out, lonely and abandoned is to give the very feelings you wish for to someone else.
Giving companionship, understanding, compassion and encouragement benefits the giver as much as the recipient. Try it! The first move is yours: you know what it feels like to be cared about. Share the feeling with someone who doesn’t. Give a meal or a warm jacket to someone down on their luck. Give words of encouragement to a worried single mother. Give advice to youth who feels lost; a hug to someone who feels dejected.
Nobody ever valued or loved you? Or so you believe?… Volunteer and not only in Holiday Season. Help disaster survivors, the sick, kids, elderly or pets. And give what you wish to have: a little love and acceptance. I guarantee that you’ll get back 1,000 times more than you’ve given.
To get, you have to step outside the door, take the first step and let the feelings you long for develop. Don’t barricade yourself or wait for the Universe to guess what you need. Let the world know that you are ready. Ready to give. Ready to receive. Ready to welcome the world in!
Remembering and / or sharing will conquer your holiday blues, uplift others and honor those who gave you the happiest memories. Like everything else, happiness has to be initiated and cared for. Saw – or keep alive – yours, it will restore life’s meaning and Holiday joy. That’s a promise.