Family. Friends. Health. Vitality. Babies. Soul mates. These are the reasons we celebrate our significant holidays. We gather together to give thanks for each other, and to look forward to more precious time together. One more year has passed, and we count the blessings that we have all shared. We can’t wait to see that new baby, or meet the new wife/husband, or see Mom and Dad again.
If this is the first year you’ve been without a lifelong companion, take heart. Invite your cherished family and friends to your place, and let them fill it with new memories full of laughter and tears. Show them your sadness and let them weep with you. Likewise, when the joyous show up, listen to their stories of happiness, praise, fulfillment, and soak in the healing.
If you are the one with joy, praise or excitement over a great year, make a point of attending the family reunions on the calendar. There is a way to share all of you without gloating or just bragging. Joy is unmistakable. Joy is a sincere state of being; an observer can tell the difference between true joy, false happiness, and vicarious boasting. Carry the joy around with you, and leave the rest at home.
Being with family, and being with friends who truly know you means getting to take the masks of perfection off. Don’t we all wear them? By the way, ask the teenagers who gather with you if they can guess how you really are feeling. If you can get them to engage, they will speak truth to you. They have a sense about people, especially those they love, and teenagers can’t be fooled.
Make a new friend this holiday season; go sit at the kids table. Get the kids and young people to go around the table and tell a ‘high’ and a ‘low’ for the year. Or, go with the ‘rose’ game. Ask them to tell a rose (a good thing), a thorn (a bad thing), and a rosebud (something they are looking forward to).
Ignore the dollar signs of the holidays. Embrace the deeper, tougher side of the next few months and make memories.