I haven’t felt like putting up a Christmas tree this year. It may be December, but I sure haven’t been feeling the Christmas spirit. I couldn’t help but wonder – where was my holiday cheer?
This would be the first year I didn’t celebrate Christmas with a tree. Even in my busiest and most emotionally trying times, I mustered up enough excitement to put up a tree. What was different about this year?
There are the obvious reasons: I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and am still worn out from cooking and entertaining over Thanksgiving. And then there’s the work involved in putting up the tree and taking it down. But when I dug a little deeper, there’s the melancholy that comes from missing family and friends who are no longer here to nuzzle and toast the holidays with. It seems I left my holiday cheer somewhere in the past.
The holidays can stir up some wistful memories and wishful thinking for all of us. There’s nothing that will unplug holiday cheer like a sick family member, a friend who’s moved away, a lost job, or a recent breakup.
Not wanting to be a scrooge, I spent a few days soul searching. I got to thinking about why I started Karousing. I wanted to create a place of hope and optimism. A place that offered levity and laughter when the rest of the world was doom and gloom. I wanted to vibrate at a higher frequency.
If that’s who I am, then I certainly could get myself out of this holiday funk. So I set out to find my holiday cheer. Here’s how I did it.
Honor those who are celebrating with you. Maybe the Crosby Stills Nash had it right all along. “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.” I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about all the other kinds of love and how they offer you comfort. Can’t be with your mother or brother or best friend this year? It’s okay. Enjoy who is there celebrating with you. No moping and being wistful for what could have been. Be in the moment. Show your appreciation to those who care enough to be there with you.
It’s time to believe. Yes, bad things are happening every day. And sometimes, they crash into our little worlds and make us worse for the wear. It’s now that we need to practice the spirit of Christmas the most. It’s time to hope and pray and find peace. It’s time to believe.
Be excited about the future, not wistful about the past. Sure, there may have been better holidays in the past. Ones filled with more joy, more laughter, more love. But guess what? If we’re lucky, there will be plenty more holidays ahead of us. And who knows? They just might be the best yet.
The holidays aren’t meant to be perfect, they’re meant to be enjoyed. I am guilty of being a perfectionist every day, but on the holidays, I do it overtime. I run around making sure I have just the right everything for everyone, and I don’t take time to stop and just enjoy the energy of the season. It’s about goodwill and hope and peace. It’s not about shopping and cooking and wrapping presents. It’s about magical moments. It’s about feeling energized and not run down. It’s about loving ourselves and accepting that we are good enough without having to be perfect.
After all that soul searching, I found my holiday cheer. I even put up a tree. But not wanting to be a perfectionist, I settled for sort of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It might be small, but it’s full of love.