It is no secret that Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love the Christmas songs and hymns, the decorations, TV specials, etc. I love staying home on a cold winter night and spending time with my family, watching a classical holiday movie.
Of course, this time of the year can also be stressful for many of us. There is always the rush to try to get everyone's gifts and not go bankrupt in doing so. Others worry about the New Year or their resolutions. Others are concerned about their weight changes during the festive season, having to reconnect with relatives or friends or coworkers that are challenging, and so forth.
For me, the holidays are about spending time with people I love and care .about. It is as though this season gives me permission to feel care-free, to not worry about all the problems that may be going on in. There is just something incredibly relaxing and calming about Christmas...perhaps it is the feelings of love, warmth, and peace associated with Christmas. Spiritually, Christmas is the birth of Christ; it is therefore a celebration of Christ's coming into the world.
All of these things make Christmas special to me. When I start feeling down about other things (ex. school, myself, relationships, etc.), I remind myself of just how important Christmas is to me. But looking deeper into that, I think it is important to take something away from Christmas into the remainder of the year. For example, I love Christmas because it means that I 'have an excuse' to sit and relax and watch a movie on TV. Well, why can't I do this the entire year? I should not need 'permission' from myself to take a well-deserved break! For others, Christmas might be an excuse to buy themselves something special to reward themselves for their hard work. But why can't we do this all year around (in moderation, of course!)? Still others might see Christmas as the time where they connect with friends and have a good, heartfelt talk. But again, why not make some time during the year to do this as well?
Is this easy to do? Of course not! It means restructuring the way we view ourselves, our time, and our routines. It may mean changing our habits and what we are most comfortable with. But sometimes, change is not such a bad thing. Sometimes we have to 'force' ourselves, or convince ourselves, that we deserve happiness, freedom, relaxation, and pampering. That we deserve to be loved and cared for. And that this can happen all year round - not just at Christmas or during our birthdays, etc. My wish for this holiday season is that you find peace, happiness, and comfort. That you take the time to care for yourself, and to show love to both yourself and to others around you. That you experience a sense of satisfaction and relaxation in doing something you love and enjoy.
Another year is almost over, and a new one is just upon us. Let's not waste time dwelling in the past, placing blame or shame, feeling guilty, and so forth. Instead, let's take the time to experience joy, to treat our minds and bodies with compassion, and to connect with those we love.
From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!