It’s ironic when you write a social media post outlining some of the concerns and stressors of the Holiday Season, only to write a blog a few days later outlining some of the concerns and stressors you personally experienced THIS Holiday Season.
Even as a person who LOVES Christmas (from a truly magical childhood where my parents made the entire Holiday Season so, so special), it is possible for the season to hold sad memories, even tragedies.
My first tragedy during the “most wonderful time of the year” happened 50 years ago, when I was 12 years old; two years later, at age 14, another tragedy; and then three years after that at 17, the greatest tragedy of all – the death of my mother from cancer.
And yet, I still love Christmas and the Holidays.
One of my specialties in my private practice is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its treatment. Past trauma, like traumas from childhood, gets “revisited” during times of other trauma as the person experiencing the new, fresh trauma returns to ALL previous traumas, even those that happened prior to birth. And, wow…that’s EXACTLY what I did. The Ghost of Christmas Past spent the last two-plus days with me, making me remember things long forgotten.
So, this “blog,” or “musing” as I call it, is a bit different than I had originally planned. And MY Holiday Season is also a bit different than I had originally planned. I think one of the most important things about Holiday plans, or ANY plan, is that plans can be changed! You can do things differently or change directions or gears, or just completely abandon a plan ALTOGETHER! IT’S OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND…CHANGE YOUR PLAN… It’s one of the beautiful things about being an adult! 😉
I was going to keep my decorations up until Epiphany, which is on January 6th of each year. I’m not a religious person, but January 6th also coincides with the final day of the 12 Days of Christmas, and a good friend gave me a set of candles commemorating those days.
But, after a lovely start on Christmas Eve with a wonderful Holiday Party at a good friend’s house, the holiday took a pretty difficult turn and continued through Christmas. So, I find myself completely OUT of the so-called Christmas Spirit. Which is TOTALLY OKAY!!! I decided to take my Christmas decorations down, take my little Charlie Brown Tree to the City-approved Christmas Tree Recycling Center, and put the rest of the Holiday away in bins. It honestly feels great, and it really helps that it was in the high 70s both yesterday and today. 😉
Take a page out of my book and remember that the most important thing you need to do during the Holidays is be kind. To yourself. To others. This absolutely does not mean that you should subjugate yourself and your needs for others.
“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” Pema Chodron