The holidays have arrived and while many of us are busy buying gifts for their loved ones and planning holiday meals, there are some who spend the holidays alone due to events beyond their control.
The hype of sharing and giving is instilled in us at a very young age and advertising is often focused on shopping, gatherings and parties during the holidays. In reality, this can be very stressful for many. There can be a mix of emotions and some may feel excited and enjoy the activities while others may feel overwhelmed or seek to find solace in being alone.
Feelings of loss come in many forms. A friend who recently divorced is feeling anxious about the prospect of being alone for the holidays. The death of a loved one in the family can also leave many unable to enjoy the spirit of the holidays. In times of grief, the traditions are interrupted by a sense of bereavement.
Meeting with clients and recognizing these situations has encouraged me to evaluate what families consider a “normal” celebration around the holidays? Do family traditions from childhood create a lasting expectation on how holidays should be spent? Is it the desire to re-live moments from childhood that leave you feeling nostalgic? Was it the simplicity and joyfulness of the excitement of the holidays you spent as a child unencumbered by the commercialization of Christmas that so often overwhelms many adults? Are we resistant to change and want to recreate that holiday mood even though it is no longer possible or practical anymore?
As we all know, holiday preparations can be daunting for many. We were invited to a thanksgiving dinner this year where the hosts announced that they wanted to break from the traditional meal offerings and instead ordered pizza. Expectations were broken, but we all had a lovely time. Our hosts were very relaxed and had a great time socializing with friends and neighbors. I wonder what they’ll do next year!
As for myself, I am breaking away from the traditional menu of the holidays and choosing some vegan options. My guests may be surprised or disappointed but that is OK. I’m changing my expectations this year but I also recognize that change can be challenging for some.
Regardless of whether you have large gatherings or choose solitude, being alone is a state of mind, not a punishment or a deprivation. It can be viewed as a time for healing and reflecting on past holiday traditions. Focus on your fond memories and be grateful for the experiences you have had in the past. If you have uncomfortable memories, look at them with forgiveness and attempt to let go. Liberate yourself by being true to yourself and where you are at this moment in your life by planning the holiday season that would give you the most enjoyment.
Happy Holidays and much love and Blessings
Founder Dorothea Essences
Creator or the Dorothea HHT