The holiday season is finally upon us! No matter where you live, we all share the same dates on the calendar. Thanksgiving in America, Christmas, and New Year’s Day (followed close behind with Valentine’s Day in February). We spend so much money trying to find favor from loved ones with our material gifts. Then our tears really begin in January as we realize how much we spent for Christmas shopping alone!
Of course, there are the traditional family dinners, gatherings, and much alcoholic consumption to welcome the New Year (perhaps it is to acknowledge our past year’s accomplishments or to “wash away” all of our past shortcomings). Cheerfulness is the attitude on-order and society tends to ignore the “bah-humbugs” – after all, why let a few spoil the fun of the many?!
Whether family units get along or not, that time of year is finally here! There is no escaping it though some find other reasons to not make it “this year”.
On the flip side, there are many who dread this time of year as well. It could be due to a recent loss in the family unit or the pain of seeing the dinner table with one empty chair for the first time. Maybe it is the hurt relived from a broken relationship or the sharing of children to remind every one of the turmoil that the family unit has had to face in recent years.
These feelings should not be discounted by any means. It is difficult to relate unless one has shared a similar experience in life. So what is the best remedy? I’m not a psychologist or family counselor but can only speak from personal experience.
Encourage those who are hurting to attend your family dinners or friendly gatherings without expectation of staying too long. No need to walk on “egg shells” but help them to enjoy the present and engage with them in the near future. With technology these days, there is absolutely NO excuse not to connect with someone. Whether it is a simple phone call, email, text, chat, IM, etc., we are more connected than the previous generations.
Unfortunately, social media sites and activities have encouraged many to be self-centered and forgetting about their immediate circle of influence. This is, however, another discussion all on its own so I will not absorb it here.
Therefore, for this holiday season, who will you reach out to and invite them to your dinner? Who do you know could use some encouragement, friendship, or a simple company?
Let us make this holiday season more about others and less about ourselves!!!