It has been my experience that there is no lonelier place on Earth than in a roomful of cheerful people when you aren’t. Ditto not having the required Christmas spirit at this time of year — but then you tell me how joyful you’d feel after fighting your way through the malls only to lug everything home so you can wrap it all?
Has anyone else noticed how much work this is?
Besides the workload and social obligations that get added to all our regular responsibilities, there are other reasons people aren’t all sunshine and light this time of year.
Maybe holidays are a source of sad memories from childhood or another time in life. Maybe the sights and songs make you long for people and times that are now gone. That is a special kind of pain that never really goes away as the years pass, the holidays just make the memory cut a bit sharper.
Maybe you can’t afford the gifts you’d like to give, the things your children want that every other kid seems to have. You don’t have time for (or enjoy) decorating or hosting the requisite get-togethers. You feel yourself lacking, unable to do what seems so easy for everyone else. That’s lousy any time of year, but is so much more evident during the holidays.
Maybe your real life troubles haven’t heard it’s a time for celebration and are still weighing you down. You’re sick, or grieving or suffering under an injustice. That kind of trouble doesn’t magically disappear because of a date on a calendar. A happy song or lovey-dovey special isn’t going to do anything for you.
So… as the season goes on and you run into someone who’s not all upbeat and cheerful, cut them some slack. And while you’re at it, do the same for yourself. Think of it as your own gift — to you. Don’t let the commercialism trick you into thinking the holidays are joyous for everyone, or that everything has to be picture perfect. Those are lies bought by fools.
Remember, things don’t have to be greeting card perfect to make great memories. Try not to get caught up in all the commercialism (yeah right, show me how when you do!) and command performances of the season. Gifts don’t have to be expensive and perfectly presented to have value. The thought is what really counts.
That and being with the people you love most.