I asked my five-year-old muse the other day, “What should mama write about?” Her response was romantic and simple, “About love and Christmas.” I blame Disney for her fantastic belief in love; which will surely come back to bite me later in life, when she is older, and developed a better perspective of the complexity of love and people (until than I let her dream and embellish).
I know I am a cynic, and honestly I have never really cared about the holidays. In fact, for over a decade this time of year has often upset me. People seem to become instantly caring, and grateful just as they are cleaning up their fake Christmas trees and decorating them. My belief is that the time of giving and gratitude should be practiced daily, all 365 days of the year. I suppose that is a greater task than just focusing on the thirty something days.
My girlfriend, who becomes a crazy fun loving Mrs. Clause the second Thanksgiving passes, blames my darkness for the festive season on being an orphan. She is utterly correct, although I would never admit it to her face. I have too much pride at stake.
True, the holidays are horrible for those without family or who have recently encountered a loss of some kind. The holidays can become a constant reminder of happier times, and we are easily triggered into a depression by past losses, unresolved grief, ruminating over the past, contrasting between the images of holiday cheer and the reality of our lives, and a sense of increased loneliness and isolation.
In addition, it is also the most stressful time of the year. For example, I become overwhelmed by the months being shorter due to public holidays, but the amount of work and due dates staying the same. We also have more thing to do, people to see, money to spend (which someone of us don’t have), more traffic, more crowds, and longer waiting lines. All the extra demands on our time, financial resources, attention, and energy that is required in the festive season can bring us quickly crashing down.
It’s been my signature move in the past to hibernate, and hide from the world for the next month. I would lie to everyone I know, telling them I already have plans, and stay indoors where it is safe and sound from the chaos, and monstrous world known as “Christmas Time”.
Unfortunately, my charade has been brutally ended by my loving partner who celebrates this time with full force, and has already designed the front yard to look like the North Pole landed in our neighborhood!
So I had to come up with a plan to keep my sanity, and here it is… my gift to you for Christmas:
- And this is not a joke. Say the Serenity prayer. Use it like a mantra to get through the roughest of patches “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. It does not matter what you believe in, if you believe in anything outside yourself even in a door knob having a higher power, these three verses will resonate peace in you.
- Organize your time. Making time for much needed rest. Learn and practice the sentence, “thank you, but I will not be able to do that.”
- Don’t confront family and friends during this time of year on past resentment and upsets. It will feel similar to learning Chinese while in the middle of an argument. In addition, do not let anyone confront you either. Declare amnesty during this time or learn forgiveness, after all, it is the time of giving even if it is moments of peace.
- Do not ruminate and compare the past to the present. It is futile and absolutely useless. Remembering the past fondly is very different to never forgetting or reliving it every day. The past is gone, and it is never what we truly remember it to be. It is far easier to fantasize about what we wanted in the past, than to stay focus on making our present the reality we desire. Do the work; get the reward- Stay Present!
- Give back to your community. Volunteer if possible.
- Save money by making gifts and doing small services for those you love. Also stay on budget, every year. I budged my Christmas gifts; it saves me time and money. With my child, especially, it’s about spending more time with her than buying her gifts.
- Eat right and exercise. We go for walks and window shop. It’s fun and we get some fresh air.
- Sleep. Don’t party too hard that you burn yourself out. The New Year is coming; you want the past burdens of last year to be behind you, and be well rested for the future.
- No big changes during this time. Wait just a few more weeks till the chaos has calmed down and your back to your routine to change something. This is a highly emotional time of year that can make us act implusive.
- Enjoy the time off and laughter. Sometimes the holidays are a great time to self-punish and get into the victim thinking mode. Please stop right there. Everyday is a moment to become anew, to shed our old skin of the past and be free from our resentments and bitterness. You can either choose to punish yourself into misery, and get a little sympathy from others; or you can live and enjoy the world around you NOW.
Good luck my fellow people! I am off to make my two girls at home Christmas dreams come true, filled with love, happiness and Christmas cookies.
~The Lesbian Guru
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to email me at TheLesbianGuru@Gmail.com with ExaminerQ as the title or you can follow me on my Blog http://TheLesbianGuru.com! Or just Join The Lesbian Revolution of Health & Love on http://Twitter.com/TheLesbianGuru orhttp://Facebook.com/TheFemmeGuru.