You remember the television series the Waltons, about a large family surviving the depression times or the Normal Rockwell paintings of family and the holidays.
Well, one thing is for certain, life changes. At the very least, the children grow up and leave home. Add to the mix parents die, a spouse dies, siblings and friends move and you may find yourself with a Holiday Celebration that feels foreign or unfamiliar leaving you feeling sad! What happened?
As long as we try to cling to the way things used to be and celebrate in a way that feels familiar we may become depressed.
This year, my family all gathered (the ones in town) at the local pub on Thanksgiving afternoon for a few beers, watch sports and to play pool. I did put in a small turkey early in the morning so that we could all have turkey sandwiches and everyone could take some turkey home.
An 82 year old friend asked, "You're not going to have a turkey dinner?" I said, "For me, the most important thing is to have fun and cooking a full turkey dinner is not longer fun for me!"
So in order to enjoy the holidays completely, look outside the box of what was always familiar and do something new, something different and exciting!
When life happened, for me, (things were really different), I used to drive to Chico (about an hour and a half away), go to Mass, stop at Starbucks and get the Grandma's Turkey Sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce and go to quiet little spot overlooking Lake Oroville and just be. It was lovely. I loved the drive, no one was on the road, no one was at the lake except me and God.
So start investigating now for Christmas. What sounds like fun? Remember to think about doing something completely different in order to feel the exhilaration of being alive!
If you like being alone the holidays are a great time for that. I love to drive with no where to go....it's like being on a different planet! No one is out! (Unless you're headed to the city of course!)
Whether you enjoy being alone or being with others do what makes you happy. Either way, do only what brings you JOY!
1. In town, two restaurants were serving free turkey dinners to anyone who wasn't cooking for themselves, not just homeless or people in need. Go and eat or go and volunteer! See what's happening for Christmas!
2. Cook at your home and start inviting people who are alone for the holiday.
3. Volunteer for a project that serves the homeless.
4. Go away! Go someplace that makes you smile.
5. Find a church and sing in the Christmas Choir.
6. Sleep all day.
Whatever you do, don't cling to...doing things the way you've always done them. As long as I was doing that, I just felt like a failure and it was in my face....things had changed!