Do you struggle with the hustle and bustle of the Fall and Winter holidays? Feel alone? Worry about the cost…in money and emotions…of jumping on the holiday treadmill? There’s so much pressure to celebrate–to love and be loved–during this time of year…it can all be a bit overwhelming. Though the spirit is pure, hope shines, and intentions are good, all the pressure to cherish the season can have exactly the opposite effect, turning you into a gloomy grumpus who just wants to huddle in a corner and sulk.
Company coming? That means days to weeks of preparation, cleaning, shopping and cooking. And the cost! Parties to attend? It could mean too much to drink and/or the presence of some unexpected romantic tension when old loves or lovers intrude. Gift giving? Don’t even get me started on that!
A lot of people suffer depression this time of year. Maybe they lost a loved one around the holidays…it’s not uncommon. Maybe they don’t have anyone to share the season of love with. Or maybe they just think it’s much ado about nothing. Whatever the reason, it can be hard to deal with the almost frantic frivolity of the season. Feeling the pressure to enjoy the holidays, too many of us force emotions we don’t feel and/or overcompensate by doing too much.
So how do you cope if you’re not really feeling it…or even if you love the season but it exhausts you with its demands? The answer is simple…but maybe not easy.
Give yourself permission not to partake.
Wow. That sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s not. Telling people no who think they’re doing you a favor by forcing you to become involved can be really hard. They might even get mad at you. So be it. Explain why you don’t want to be included. Be kind. Know that they are probably pushing because they care about you. And rest assured that they’ll get over it.
But let’s be clear here. I’m not suggesting you hide in your room, slurping gruel in front of a meager fire, Scrooge-like. Don’t turn yourself into an outcast. And don’t neglect the people who love you. Just simplify. Meet friends at a favorite restaurant instead of cooking. Make simple, well thought out gifts instead of buying expensive stuff they’ll probably never use. Accept your emotions and look for positives. Approach the season in your own way, doing only what you think is right and fair. And I can almost promise that you’ll enjoy the holidays a whole lot more this year.
So get on out there and create your own celebration! Or stay in and read a great book by the fire. It’s totally up to you!
Sometimes going home is clarifying. Sometimes it’s just plain deadly!
Adam travels to Candlelight, Indiana to visit his parents for Christmas. When he arrives he discovers somebody has killed a man and dumped him in the manger of the living crèche at the local church. Unfortunately, all signs lead back to Adam’s father as the murderer. A Sheriff with a grudge and a small town more interested in gossip than reality, convince Adam that it will be up to him and the gang to clear his father’s name.
Susan, The Romance Reviews: “Declan Sands writes a beautiful, festive tale of family secrets and emotions, coupled with vivid descriptions of what Christmas is like in a small town where everybody knows everybody else. Once again the author weaves a spell of mystery, intrigue, romance, sex and friendship, all interspersed with wit and humor. This is a wonderful treat for the festive season of family bonding, friendship and danger beneath the surface of a small town and a definite must read, especially, if like me, you’ve read the rest of the series. Definitely well worth it.”