It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Do you feel it? That palpable change in attitude ~ the exciting buzz that the holidays seem to ignite ~ the warmth and generosity of others that increases as the month goes on? Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, there’s a lull which feels so necessary to me. It’s a time to regroup, to figure out the gifts and recipients, to plan and to decorate, to bake and to bring that festive spirit into the lives of others. As it says above, to me, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the YEAR!”
On the flip side though, the holidays can be difficult for some as well. Lonely and alone are hard sentiments to have in your heart. Those who have lost loved ones often feel the burden of missing those whom they love at the holidays ~ the sadness often overwhelms them at this time as they are surrounded by the living while missing the ones who have passed. When you’ve been part of a couple and now you’re a single, it can be a difficult transition. Although others try to keep you involved, ultimately, it’s your deciison of how involved you are in the festivities.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I tried to get my Mom to attend Thanksgiving this year. She simply did not want to go. I tried everything, guilt, cajoling, joking, being nice, being stern and demanding and she dug in her heels and refused. She wanted to spend it alone at home and nothing I could say or do would change her mind.
So, I listened to her heart. I honored her need to be at home and I modified Thanksgiving to include a small luncheon over the weekend with my Sissy and Mom.
It was hard letting go of what I believed was best for her. I selfishly wanted memories for our family and for Mom herself. I wanted photos of Thanksgiving turkey-filled bellies all together watching football. Instead, we celebrated without her, but with her spirit and my Dad’s spirit in our hearts if not at our table. I won’t say it was easy to know that she was choosing to not celebrate with us. But I will say, that I learned to change my attitude and perhaps that was the best gift I could have given to my Mom and to myself.
The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude. -Oprah Winfrey
Instead of being hurt that she wasn’t with us, I relished a leisurely lunch with my Sissy and my Mom. I enjoyed a meal without hubbub with Mom to enjoy all that she is without distraction. I let go of what I thought “should be” and embraced what is ~ and it changed our relationship, my life and the holidays for us both.
So even though for me there’s a bit of melancholy in the air as it’s only the 2nd Christmas without my Dad and my Mom is not so keen on being around a lot of people at one time, I am also finding a bit of cheer in the festiveness in the air, the joy of playing jolly ol’ Saint Nick’s wife (ahem) and in finding the blessings and peace in the reason for the season.
What about you? Do you feel those changes in attitude? Or are you feeling a bit Scrooge-like at the moment?