Clients are already going through the holiday worry, of wanting to know if they will have a person "to spend the holidays with". I understand that the holidays are supposed to be fun and festive. Hollywood and TV has made us think of holiday time as huge family gatherings, glamorous parties or romantic times by the fire. It has made us believe that Christmas , along with Valentine's Day, is a failure without a diamond gift.
I can see holidays being about families in SOME families. There are families however, that are problematic to the point of dysfunctional or abusive. You do NOT have to include those people in your holiday in a big way, or at all. Holidays are NOT about romance. Holidays are not about diamonds. Holidays are not about spending time with someone who makes you feel guilty, fearful, sad, angry or any other negative emotion. Giving birth to a person , or being a biological father, does NOT automatically allow you control of your offspring's schedule. When you aren't a good parent, or if you are an abusive parent, then you don't get time at all.....period.
What holidays are about depends on the holiday. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have, and if you have been doing the "days of thankfulness daily ritual", you have at least 29 things so far. I won't get into Christmas yet, as that is a whole blog in and of itself, but it isn't about what you may think it is. Christmas was a pagan celebration way before Jesus of Nazareth was born. It has however become a time of celebration, and celebrated in different ways around the world. It is a time of celebration , food, and parties OR a time of peace, contemplation, and reaping the harvest of your year that has just passed.
You don't have to have a bunch of friends or a significant other to celebrate the holiday. Last time I checked the only "significant other day" was Valentine's Day. Sometimes having a partner just makes it harder to do. The key is to NOT take your clues from anyone else, and certainly not TV ads, shows or the movies. The key is to do what you can do that makes you happy, content, peaceful, and serene. It is not a day put on the calendar to make you upset or depressed. I know, easier said than done for some. Remember to change the things you can (Serenity Prayer), and not sweat what you cannot control or change. What would be the point?
There are holidays I have spent with family, and without. Close to home, far away from home. Dressing up for parties and sitting home in my sweats and a warm quilt. Single, married, divorced, and married again. They were all good days and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. They all had a meaning, a feeling, and a peace to them that I embraced.
Just because it is a holiday , it is not a time to rush to find a significant other. This is probably the worst time actually. I have clients stressing because their new partner will be away with family and families stressing because their members are with others all the time at Christmas. Get over it! I mean seriously, do not try to control the things you can't. You can invite, you can rearrange schedules, but you cannot make somone spend a holiday with you. The result of forcing people to do things with you (and maybe even like spending time with you) just ends up being a huge mess.
Find people who want to be with you, who resonate with you. Don't try to force people to be with you, it never works in the long run. Those who threaten and try to make people do what they want end up alone , or at least without that person near them. People go where they feel comfortable in the long run. You can force, make people feel guilty, or demand, but in the long run all you are building is resentment.
When you are constantly alone on the holidays , and not out of choice, examine why. YOU are the common denominator. What is it about you what makes people stay away? It is a hard journey to find that answer. But you have to BE what you want. When you want Prince Charming, you have to BE Princess Charming.
Make the holidays YOUR special day. The day set aside to celebrate YOUR way. When you want a celebration, create it! When you don't, don't. There are many who are content with their own company , and there is nothing wrong with that, but there is something of an issue with needing a person to make anything "complete". A person in your life is not there to complete you, but to complement you.
Do the right things for the right reasons!
(C) 2012 Dr R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission