As Christmas and New Year approach celebrations will be happening all around and many people will be talking about them or planning them. How should you respond if this year you just don’t feel like celebrating? There can be many reasons for this including a loss, health struggles, changes in relationships or loss of contact with those you care for. As everyone around you is celebrating how can you respect your own emotions and needs without stopping their desire to celebrate or being brought down emotionally?
Some Christmases are harder than others and some years it’s difficult to see the things you can celebrate when loss or pain or struggle cloud your vision. Celebrate what you can. Having the attitude of looking for the good, of being grateful in the struggle impacts how well you handle the circumstance. Find some small things to celebrate like the triumph of light over dark. What areas of your life are not impacted that you can celebrate? If the struggle is financial, can you celebrate the people in your life. Look at the ways you’ve been loved, provided for, or cared for and celebrate that.
Celebrate how you can. It’s ok if this year is different. Different doesn’t have to mean failure or inadequacy. If you have worries about how people will respond it’s ok to decline to share personal details and it’s ok to be honest and say, “This year has been really hard. We’re doing things a little different”. Focus on what matters to you and what makes this time feel special and do those things. It’s ok to let go of the parts that stress you out or are financially out of reach or remind you too much of a recently passed loved one. Do what is possible and use your mindfulness skills to stay in that present moment the way it is. It’s ok that it’s different than the past or if you’d like the future to be different. Celebrate what is right now.
When you’ve lost someone recently or if this is a hard time of year because of people missing from your life celebrate with who you can. Loneliness and loss become very real as do comparisons with others. For those with difficult or estranged relationships celebrate with those you do have close. If you don’t have someone near you reach out, many people are lonely and are waiting for someone to reach out to them. Be that person and choose to go out of your comfort zone to make a connection.
Some years and seasons of life can be really difficult. It can be hard to celebrate when it feels like the whole world is full of light and your life is very dark. Jesus came at Christmas to bring light to all mankind so that even when our personal circumstance is dark, we have his light to renew, transform and give us strength and a future.