“We can’t keep learning the same lessons over again. We just keep learning the same lessons over again.” Ha Ha Tonka
Many of my followers may not agree with my thoughts on Christmas. But another has passed us by. And I learn more and more each time.
For those who disagree with what I say, I love you still and wish for long evenings by firesides drinking hot chocolate and pursuing witty, curious and intelligent debates about this topic and you might give me something to think about. But for now without that lovely and insightful debate, I commence to share my deepest thoughts on the one day of each year that has caused so much heartache in my life and in so many others.
For so long, anxiety and worry about this holiday has stormed furiously in my life – taunting and teasing me with the refrain – you should, you ought, you must and especially gloating on its usual admonition – you must do what everyone else tells you to do on this day.
This drama has increased dramatically of late and the fretting begins in early Spring and lasts until which time, it gears up ready to destroy the next holiday season. For this, I blame no one but myself. I realize that no one but me is in control of my life and guilt is something I allow and I can overcome it. However, because I have read so much and heard so much similar despair from so many others, I thought I would invite you to go with me as I work through the outrageous drama that is called Christmas in my hurting head.
Since this is my place to record feelings, some difficult, others exceeding
painful, I will speak my truth in love – taking full responsibility for my part in the saga. For me Christmas has long been been a breeding ground for relationship destruction in my world. It seems to be to be a child’s gift and we, as adults, perpetuate an effort to ensure that small, innocent children remember a dream of a Rockwell painting that is filled with gifts, sparkling lights and tons of presents laying in wait for tiny hands to become paper shredders in haste to discover hidden treasures.
This is how it begins and why now as adults try to recreate that same perfect day for our children.
As we get older, however,we are faced with the facts that as adults, we try to conceal that day – unbearable grief, financial issues and relationship issues that are sometimes sharply quiet moments of sarcasm Some even chastising with anger or envy that someone did not show up because they had other plans. How dare they do this?
Having said that, I am perfectly willing to participate in the celebrations of those extraordinary lives such as the Christ, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. To this every day. most humans try to utilize the messages from the greats – the Golden Rule and the lessons of selflessness, giving, truth, respect, understanding, gratitude and kindness.
We endeavor to love ourselves and others. We understand that manipulation is prone to failure and resentment and the eventual demolition of relationships. That love and acceptance are the essential elements of grace. That violence, both physical and emotional, only exacerbates the likelihood of an imploding an broken heart so deep, it will take long stretches of time to wipe the slate clean no matter how hard we pray, how much we try and how hard we fight to force the anger away so that it will not escalate into an ugly old wort of grudge that hurts no one but ourselves. Or worse, we declare we have forgiven but will never forget, which I completely cannot understand to any degree whatsoever. But then again I have failed enough to know that we all make personal mistakes.
So to the advice.
1. Start your own traditions with your significant others.
2. State your intention and offer other days and ways to celebrate if you cannot make Christmas Day itself. (This year I have actually had five Christmas celebrations with different people on different days. And I have one more to go.) The day is not important. The time together is.
3. Look after yourself. (Trust me. No one else is going to do it). Take some time alone.
4. Remember that guilt is the gift that keeps on giving so let that little package remain unopened and drag it to the street with the used up Christmas tree.
5. And remember the season and its reason. For those whom you love that are far away, reach out with a call. And if you get one, please take the time to answer it.
6. Also remember if you have not spent several years with different family members, next year may just be the time to fix that. In fact, it is what I plan to do.
7. Set boundaries. And stick with them.
8. And just love with peace.