Posted on December 14, 2019 by janice
Janice Della Badia, LCSW
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE…
…from the “holidays” so-called. Christian, Jew, LDS, doesn’t matter. Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s, the appointed days arrive every year whether you’re “ready or not.” Some look forward to them with the enthusiasm of a child. Others, with a sense of dread.
Ah “the holidays the twinkling lights, garland hung on anything that doesn’t move, placing the Menorah in the window…and the goodies and cookies! Yum!!!
Before I go further, it is important that you understand something very important:
Definition: “Fantasy.” (n) imagination unrestricted by reality
You turn on the TV to listen to some light, funny (probably brainless) show, and what do you get…Christmas…New Year’s… Chanukah. Secular, non-secular, it matters not. There it is, in your face. Everyone is young(ish) happy, healthy, smiling, and of course, beautiful. Glamorous clothing, hair perfectly styled, slender, fit. In many ads, people are in couples or in groups of loving friends and family. Champagne glasses clink… My fav: some lovely woman is offered a 6-carat ring from some extremely handsome male model, and she pretends to be surprised. Oy vey.
Here’s the reality, not everyone looks forward to the “holidays” with child-like exuberance. There are many who feel pain and loneliness more than any other time of year. If you’re one who feels the pain more intensely this time of year, this blog is for you, yes YOU! Don’t despair. We can choose to make the day(s) good, bad, happy, sad, whatever we’re in the mood for. Yes, you can. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. Yes, you can.
The decorations that create “winter wonderland” at the mall; the old-world Americana decorations in the small shops in your neighborhood, all decked out in holly with red ribbons, the TV commercials, greeting cards…well, it’s all a scam. Yeah, a big fat scam. Really, no different than those scam phone calls you get from time-to-time on your cell phone. You know how you ignore those calls, or you just hang up? You can “hang up” the holiday blues, too. It’s a scam to get you to buy stuff. A scam so you’ll somehow believe if you spend more money than you can or should, your life will be wonderful. Nonsense. Conspicuous consumption never solved anyone’s problems. All nonsense.
You may begin to believe this is the way the rest of the world lives. Parties, glamour, riches, foreign luxury cars with big red bows, coffee in a lovely home when your child comes home from his/her ivy league school for the holiday.
I’ve never lived that way, have you? Didn’t think so. Few do.
No one’s life is perfect. Yeah, sure it may seem that way from the outside, but you’ve heard the saying, “walk a mile in their shoes…”
According to the “National Retail Federation,” “Bankruptcy and holiday spending… it may come as no surprise that filing bankruptcy is usually put off until after the holidays. It’s a season that people think more about spending than saving or eliminating debt. Americans who are tempted to overspend will likely do so this time of year.”
I’ve decided to spend my Christmas day a little differently than I have in the past. I’m going to indulge in my passion for American history. I’m going to attend a revolutionary war re-enactment not too far from where I live on Christmas morning. Me and my little buddy, Linus (my West Highland Terrier) will pack up the car with some lunch goodies, a lawn chair, and blanket, warm clothing (and, yes, he has his own parka) and watch the talented re-enactment actors show us what life was like on Christmas Eve and Christmas day 243 years ago in 1776.
What’s your passion, your interest? Is there something you’d like to try, at least once? Maybe it’s volunteering? Maybe you share my passion? Perhaps you enjoy something else, a little more unusual, a little more “YOU?” Do it.
What could be better? I’ll tell you, anything that makes you smile. If its history, maybe I’ll see you at the re-enactment. If it’s volunteering, then I thank you for your generosity and so will those you are helping, especially on a day when we are reminded 2019 years ago, someone did the same for the least of us. I wish you abundant blessings.
If cooking is your thing, make your favorite dish. If its hotdogs, go for it. If it’s a roast, well, why not? If it’s a cheesecake, I’ll give you my telephone number! Hahahahahaha!!!!!
Start that home project? Not sure how to start it? Try YouTube! You can find out how to do just about anything on YouTube. Fix your sink, paint a room, tile your floor, do some yoga, whatever makes you think about smiling. I suggest you plan it out so you can have your supplies ready (not much open on Christmas Day). Spend your day accomplishing a goal that you’ve been thinking about, and thinking about, and thinking about… Just do it!
You’ll put your head on your pillow after a day well spent, and sleep like a small child! Guaranteed! (well, not guaranteed, but it’s a pretty good bet you will).
Whatever it is you decide to do, whatever plan you make, be sure it’s something for YOU. Something YOU enjoy, something YOU like, something that makes YOU feel good.
Final note, the Farmer’s Almanac says the weather in the northeast USA will be in the low 40’s cloudy/a bit rainy (in the afternoon). Not enough to keep you indoors, take your umbrella, and get out there and celebrate YOUR personal version of Christmas, Chanukah, secular, non-secular, whatever you choose. But make it yours. If you own it, no one can take it from you, ever. (Not even the beautiful, but likely vapid, model on TV with the huge diamond ring and champagne glass!)
AND LET’S HAVE THE BEST OF NEW YEAR’S! COME ON IN 2020!!!!