What’s Your Christmas Story? 5 Ways to Feel Merry and Bright
Oh, the holidays. There’s so much hoopla about good tidings and cheer. We rush around buying gifts––even for people we don’t like because it’s the “right thing to do.” Then there’s all the mushy Hallmark movies and Christmas cards plastered with smiling faces recounting a year’s worth of “look what I did.”
For a lot of us, it’s too much to bear. We eat too much, drink too much, and slip into depression, wishing our lives were brighter and filled with the sparkle of a tinsel covered tree. And then there are those out there who are just flat lonely. Wistful, even. We want what we had or we’re hoping for something we fear we can never have.
I spent countless Christmases watching my parents argue and, often, fight. I’d hide under the covers as dishes crashed against the walls. Years later, I numbed out during Christmases spent with family members I didn’t like. In my thirties, I spent a few holidays alone, absolutely certain that I would always be lonely.
All that changed a few years ago when I got real about my Christmas story. I finally told the truth about me, my past, and the stories I’d been telling myself about who I was and what I owed other people.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to rewrite your Christmas story. Here are five easy steps that will help you find your own peace and joy this holiday season.
What’s the most painful Christmas memory you have?
What story did you tell yourself about what happened? (That you were abandoned? Unloved? That you deserved it?)
What’s one good thing, a silver lining, that came from that painful experience?
How would you feel today if your story were different? (Would you feel loved? Happy? Healed?)
What can you do right now to show yourself some love––to create an inner landscape of joy and peace? (Watch an old favorite show or movie? Buy a new book? Call an old friend? Take a bubble bath? Walk your dog? Put on your fanciest dress and take yourself to dinner? Make a snow angel?)
I’m here to tell you that if I rewrote my Christmas story, you can too. Regardless of your circumstances, there’s a new story out there for you and it’s full of wonder and light. Truly.