Thursday, December 16, 2010

Under Pressure

With the Christmas season in full swing around us, as we creep closer and closer to the big day as it draws nearer, there is a lot of pressure for all of us to make with the merry.  We hustle and bustle, wrap and bake, shop and visit all under the glitter of shimmering decorations and a mandate to be happy.

Unfortunately, there is much suffering that happens in this world and not everyone is feeling all holly jolly about the festivities.  Their are many all around us, friends, neighbors or family, who are grieving.  Grieving their financial situations or the loss of a job.  Grieving the death of a loved one or grieving life as they knew it as they face fearful and uncertain futures thanks to a recent medical diagnosis.

As I sit happy and content under the sparkle of my the Christmas Tree and the warmth of my home, I can't forget these people and I hope that you won't either, for I have been these people in Christmas' past.  All by the ripe old age of 38, I have buried my father, gave the legal consent to stop life support for my mother, buried a sister, a nephew and the most painful of all, a daughter.  I understand the pain that the holiday season can bring to those who suffer and how inescapable the holidays are.

In that vein, I'd like to offer some tips for holiday survival that may be of use to all of us, grieving or not;

Shop Online ~ If you have to shop because of children in your home, shopping online at your own pace can help you to avoid the crowds, decorations, music and glitz that you may not be up to dealing with.

Don't Deck the Halls ~ You can simply not bother with decorating your home inside or out.  If you feel the need to decorate for the kids or any other reason, you can keep it minimalist.  Take the pressure off of yourself and only do what you are up for.

Keep Your Plans Flexible ~ What may sound like a good idea today, may become a daunting obligation that you are not in the mood for next week. 

Communicate ~ Let your family and friends know that what you need right now is patience and understanding.  Let them know to keep their expectations low and that you will participate when you are up for it and that you don't have to when you're not.

Cut Yourself a Break ~ If you don't send out Christmas cards, diligently shop or complete all of the tasks that you had hoped to, don't sweat it.  It's okay.  If you won't cut yourself some slack, who will?

Don't Despair ~ Do what you have to to get through today.  If you can survive today, you can deal with tomorrow when it comes.  Keep life simple, take it as it comes and remember to breath.

Two Words ~ Ron Bacardi.  Ron gets along well with many of my closest friends including egg nog, cola and lime.

For the rest of us who are busy enjoying the holidays to the fullest, don't forget the people who are not.  Offer patience, kind words and gentle understanding for their lack of merriment without forcing festivities upon them.

Wishing you all Peace, Joy and Hope in your lives.

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