Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But not for everyone. Sometimes Christmas is the hardest time of the year.
It’s a real struggle when the entire world is partying and you feel like you can’t go on.
There are several key reasons why Christmas is a tough time of the year for some people.
- Death of a loved one. Christmas is such a family time that when a loved one passes away the pain resurfaces at holiday time. For some this will be the first time the family gathers around the table with an empty chair.
- Loneliness. Maybe you or someone close to you will spend Christmas alone. Again, with a huge emphasis on family, loneliness is especially painful during the holiday season.
- Lack of money. Christmas can be difficult if there are few funds available to buy gifts. When Christmas focuses on giving expensive gifts it puts tremendous pressure on those who are struggling financially.
- Broken relationships. Many families will gather together to celebrate the holiday season who don’t get along. Broken relationships raise the temperature in the room. And too many family members dread the thought of verbal spats breaking out during the celebration.
For many people Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year.
Here’s 4 tips for navigating the holiday season when Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year.
- Focus on the moment and refuse to dwell on the past. It’s so easy to think about the cool Christmas times of the past. But if you do that it will only make your current Christmas even more painful because of the contrast. Take extra effort to focus on the moment.
- Figure a way to give gifts that are more precious than anything money could buy. Remember when your kids were little and they drew a picture of you with a heart? And when they handed it to you they gave you a big hug? Yep. Take some time and give a free gift from the heart. There’s no need to spend lots of money. The free love gift will long outlast a gift purchased with money.
- Find a way to help someone else on Christmas. It’s so easy to turn Christmas into a personal pity party. But there are people who are having an even more difficult time than you. Help those people. Invite others who are struggling over to your house. Try to make their holiday time special and it will do the same for yours. Or volunteer to work with an organization that feeds the homeless on Christmas Day. Help someone else.
- Tap into the true spirit of Christmas. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Sure, you’ve seen it before. But watch it again and remind yourself of how your life has impacted others. Or watch A Christmas Carol and rejoice that your life is not yet over; it isn’t too late for you. And if you are religious be sure to attend a Christmas Eve service where you can surround yourself with believers and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
Don’t let Christmas drive you into depression. Make the decision to have the best Christmas possible, even if circumstances conspire to drag you down.
What is the most difficult thing about Christmas for you?