A lady asked me this question last week and it made me stop and think, for two reasons. Firstly, what caused her to ask this question and secondly, what is my answer?
This client proceeded to list numerous reasons why the festive season was an unhappy time for her. All her complaints were genuine; some were the result of highexpectations which ended in disappointment, some werefocused on past hurtsand others were due to the bombardment of media and marketing that puts pressure on us tospend, spend, spend!
We worked together on releasing her past hurts and in a short space of time she was able to let go emotionally and mentally. Sheset herself free,allowing her mind room tofocus on a more positive future. We worked together on settingrealistic expectationsof herself and others. We both decided to make a conscious effort to switch off the TV, and turn the radio volume down when the adverts start. Plus she agreed on an amount of money she is happy to spend and promised herself to stay within that limit. She left feeling focused and in control.
However, her question still irked me. It made me realise that we tend to focus on the ‘difficulties or challenges’ presented during the festive season instead of focusing on the joys. So in response to her question, “what’s so merry about Christmas?” I set myself the challenge of writing down all the things that make mesmile in the lead up to the festive season,all the things thatI am grateful for,all the things that I would miss if we didn’t celebrate Christmas. After I had done that I felt much better and thought, why not share these ideas? There may be some others who ask themselves this question and need to pause for a moment and reflect… So here is my list, feel free to add to it.
Celebrations, parties, rich food, good wine, laughter & gifts!
Time off work – you can choose how you use this time, be busy or be free.
Joining a community event: carol singing, hamper wrapping, church service.
An opportunity to contact someone you haven’t been in touch with for ages.
A time to give to charity, to count our blessings, to feel needed, to be useful.
Passing on family traditions. Creating new memories for the next generation.
The story of Jesus carries a message of hope and children love a nativity play.