Finding Happiness During the Holidays
I love this Christmas-y time of year! It’s a time for Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and social gatherings! Each year, I look forward to it all, as I break into our Christmas bins with all the decorations waiting to be placed around the house. It all starts with me putting on Christmas music while organizing everything, which is soothing to my soul. I’m always sure to give myself a week to get everything up, so I don’t ever rush, and allow the creativity to soar. Always skeptical that all the lights will work after sitting for a year, I take my time to go thru them. Along with the lights, I also have an electronic set of Christmas bells that I string along the garland on the stairwell each year. As I open the box each year, I grit my teeth in the hopes they will continue to play for me. Those bells have been around for over 15 years at this point, and have survived so many Christmases, that each year I’m grateful they will play another year.
As I continue thru the bins, I always come across a lighted Angel that was used for years as the tree topper when I was a kid. She doesn’t work at this point, (and if she did, she would probably be a fire hazard), but it’s nice to take a moment to remember her as she was. She has become a token of Christmases of the past for me, and it’s nice to just take that moment as a reflection…and then move on.
Once all the house decorations are up, it becomes time to search for our tree. I try to find the one that will fit just perfectly in the spot near the window, and I won’t stop looking till I find it. And if, by chance, it doesn’t fit as I’d like, or it isn’t shaped as nice, I grab my limb trimmers and MAKE it fit, and shape it till it’s as good as it can get. Getting ready for the holidays has always been a tradition that turns into a time of reflection for me.
Not only are the decorations a tradition, but also the music. When I turn on the Christmas music, I allow it to consume me. Whether it’s the music we hear on the radio or the beautiful music of the Advent season, I wait all year to hear the tunes, and then I can’t seem get enough of it.
Even though its a busy time of year, it's a glorious time of year.
And as perfect as the above sounds, you need to be aware that I HAVE CHOSEN to create this for myself. I choose to let the music move me. I choose to let decorating be a relaxing, beautiful moment for me. I choose to enjoy this time of year.
For many, the Christmas season isn't so joyous, and can bring about sadness and even depression. Many times this is brought on by the loss of a friend or family member during this time. I myself, lost my grandmother around the holiday time. Yes, it was a sad time, but I have always thought to myself that she wouldn’t have wanted us to sulk over her during the holidays. She would have wanted us to CELEBRATE the holidays! It was unfortunate how her death took a toll on some, and when it did, I took in those feelings, and allowed them to all sink in. I saw and felt the sadness, as well as the depression from others. And even as sad and depressed as I was, I was just as determined to NOT let it ruin such a joyous season. I chose a different path. I chose to keep my head up high and to be grateful. And now, I choose to be happy for the times she was in my life, and to keep the Christmas spirit alive in me.
Like everything else, we have choices. I choose to celebrate her life, and to take in happiness, instead of feeling the emptiness. She loved Christmas, and I choose to carry on that tradition of bringing joy and love and hope and trust and faith to my family.
I choose to smile and take my time as I put all the decorations up around the house. I make it a fun event, a joyous event, and never a forced event.
I choose to be happy. I choose to love the skin I'm in, and I choose to celebrate life during a time that can be so difficult. Taking a positive from a negative, and looking at the world from a different angle, is all it really is, and makes SUCH a difference! So whatever world you're coming from, just allow yourself to be grateful for what you have, appreciative of the people in your life, and happy that you have those around you. It takes time to train your mind to gear towards happiness. So, don’t assume it will happen overnight. Like everything else, it’s a process that takes time to learn and develop.
For me, it started with just a smile. A smile that allowed me to start the process I needed to take. With a smile, you can bring in a feeling of contentment and peace. When you feel that peace, it can snowball into feeling grateful. Feeling grateful can then bring on the love of self and for others…and so on. It’s about allowing the process to build when it needs to AS it needs to.
If you are having difficulty this holiday season, start with a smile, and smile as many times during the day as you can remember to do so. If you have to force the smile at first, then force the smile. Even a forced smile can reap the positive benefits. Keep adding smiles thru your day, then notice how you feel after a day, a week, then at two weeks. Notice the difference after a month. It's about changing the habit of saddness into a habit of happiness. There will be a point when the positive will start to outweigh the negative, and the joy and happiness will start to find its way thru. Be patient, and allow the gradual change to occur.
When I started noticing people smiling at me at the grocery store, I realized that, in fact that I was the one who was smiling. It was that A-HA moment that further proved the power of positivity for me.
It's amazing the power of the positive, and how you can make a difference in your own life...
May you have peace, love and joy this holiday season.. XO
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Michelle has a BS, E-RYT, YACEP, CHN, CLYL, and Y12SRL.