It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and that, like many holidays can be a source of sadness. For so many people, this time of year especially doesn’t necessarily offer joy. There can be many reasons for the sadness of the season.
For some, it could be that they lost a loved one around this time of year – the parents of those poor young victims in Newtown, CT will always remember this year’s Christmas as sad, as did the relatives of Panam flight 103 or the survivors of the December 26 tsunami in 2004.
For others, it could be that they grew up in a home with an aggressive alcoholic parent and the holidays bring back memories of hard times. For still others, it could be that they have ideals and expectations based on how it used to be, or what they see portrayed on TV.
My mother grew up with a large extended family that lived within a few miles of each other. Being that they were Italian, they got together regularly for large meals, totties, music, dancing, laughter and lots of loud talking. On the holidays, at least 30 came together to celebrate and the partying would go on till the wee hours of the night.
Fast forward the clock 30 years… most of the family members have passed away or moved away, including my mother who lives 1000 miles away from her hometown. Christmas has never felt the same to her. Like with most people, her mind carries images and stories of a ‘perfect’ holiday. These images and stories are created by a combination of our actual personal experiences and those created for our viewing on commercials, TV shows and movies.
Holiday Programmed Robots
We are like little holiday robots which have been programmed as to what makes for the ‘right kind of holiday.’ We are happy if our holiday experiences are in line with our mental holiday story, but we tend to be sad if our holidays turn out different than we expected or fantasized.
Welcome to the E.H.R.C… Emotional Holiday Roller Coaster!
As long as we unwittingly continue to follow these holiday scenarios scripted in our minds, we will be miserable through the holiday season, each and every year.
Isn’t it time to enjoy the season, no matter how different your experiences are compared to the past or to what you see on TV? As our families evolve, our holidays evolve as well.
No given year will be identical to any other year, and there is no possible way of mimicking your childhood years in the present. Make a decision to accept the ever evolving circumstances of your family, step into the flow of change rather than resisting it. And, as far as those commercials, TV shows and movies are concerned, it’s time to be one step ahead of them. Realize that millions of dollars have gone into marketing a product, and their entire strategy is to make money off your mental holiday story.
Producers bank on the assumption that you, like a majority of other viewers, wish to be having the ‘right kind of holiday.’ If they create the perfect holiday scene, trigger you to have warm fuzzy feelings, and then throw in the use of their product… PRESTO, they have succeeded in leading you to believe their product will increase the likelihood of you experiencing the ‘right kind of holiday.’ Don’t fall for it! Step out of your life & your mind long enough to see things from a broader perspective… see how much your family has evolved… find joy in the changes. Then, take realistic bits and pieces from commercials, TV shows, and movies… decide which elements you like and can personally implement in your holiday season… then, have the courage and strength to implement them. By letting go of and accepting the changes in your family, and by getting clear and implementing some realistic holiday elements….you are on the path to finding the perfect balance that will bring joy to your holiday.
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