It’s so interesting to me how big the discrepancy is between how the media portrays Christmas (or any family holiday, for that matter) and the reality that most people experience. The media paints a picture of togetherness, peace, companionship, and joyfulness. Of miracles.
What’s the reality?
Unless you’re one of those special families who all get along perfectly, most of the time, Christmas reality looks like frustration, stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma. A nightmare.
I totally relate to the second variety–for most of my life, family get togethers were hugely traumatic. I loved the holidays in theory, but was annually disappointed by my real-life experience, for an array of reasons that aren’t particularly important.
What’s important is that it has all changed.
After almost losing my dad this year, the holidays took on a whole new tone. The anxious nature of my typical expectations and the disappointment that usually ensued was no longer–this year, EVERYONE was so grateful JUST to be in each other’s company. The simplicity of good food, supportive people, and a loving environment was more than enough.
In the end, expectations about what we think others could or should do JUST don’t matter. Take a look at what is already in your world, and lovingly embrace it with a graceful smile. We really all have more than we think.
Christmas this year was perfect. I got to spend time with my dad, step-mom, and much of her family, and it felt so good to be all together. The material gifts were nice…but the real gift to me was to see my dad laugh as others told stories, and to watch how the family all rallied together to help my step-mom create the best Christmas dinner yet.
Take it back to simplicity. What is something you have been taking for granted that you can now lovingly embrace? What will you do to shift? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy Holidays and Namasté!