We each have our holiday rhythm.
Some like to know the plan well in advance, others prefer figuring it out as they go along.
Some deck the halls to the nines, others can’t be bothered.
Some can’t imagine the season without parties, gatherings and friends, others crave solitude, rest and reflection.
I’ve been all of that.
Just as preferences vary from one person to another, our own preferences may vary too, from one year to another.
It’s good to be flexible.
Learning to respect what’s right for us while respecting what’s right for others. It’s nothing personal, it’s just different.
I’ve been seeing posts on my Facebook feed lately that have me scratching my head.
Whenever someone tells me NOT to use the term "Happy Holidays", instructing me instead to use a more specific greeting, my reaction is twofold:
- There are many holidays being celebrated during this time of year, Christmas is only one of them. Let’s open our hearts and minds to the many forms of celebration out there.
- When I say “Happy Holidays” I am offering my good wishes for the season, my intentions are pure. If a recipient chooses to not accept them because of the words I use, there's nothing I can do about that.
I just don’t understand the need to deliberately exclude people who choose to celebrate the season differently. Isn’t there plenty of room for all of us? I should think kindness and good wishes would be welcome no matter how they're delivered, non?
I feel strongly about this and could rant further, but in the spirit of the season I will stop here.
Learning to respect our own traditions while respecting others’. It’s nothing personal, it’s just different.
Sometimes the holidays are difficult and we feel less than jolly. We’ve lost a loved one, we’re tired, sick, depressed, lonely, hungry, worried... joy is elusive.
Sometimes the holidays are more than we could ever wish them to be. We’re in a new home, perhaps with a new love, we’re surrounded by loved ones or maybe we’re enjoying a restorative solo getaway, money and time are a little more flush than previous years… joy is palpable.
I’ve lived both.
I sometimes feel guilty when I’m enjoying a peaceful, joyful holiday season while others aren’t. And then I remember that joy is allowed.
Feeling grateful for life circumstances does not impede my ability to feel compassion for those going through a rough time and help where I can if I feel called to do so. It’s OK to go into full-on Holiday mode if that’s what I want to do, just as it’s OK for others to lay low.
On the flip side, feeling less than merry doesn’t impede my ability to choose how I want to mark the season – or not mark it. It’s OK to bow out of the norm this year, just as it’s OK for others to continue as usual.
Learning to respect our personal journey while respecting others’. It’s nothing personal, it’s just different.
What if we started treating the Holidays as a more fluid affair rather than a series of absolutes? While I know it's not always easy, what if we opened ourselves to more grey areas rather than getting attached to how things are "supposed" to be?
If we allowed differences to coexist - internal and external, maybe there would be less frustration and disappointment that way. More acceptance of what is.
Acceptance usually brings peace. In the end, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
Peace to all of us, yes. No matter how we choose to live the season.
Warmest wishes to you,