But isn't Christmas suppose to be a time of peace and joy, giving and sharing, counting your blessings, and remembering those who are less fortunate? Well, it seemed like a good idea. So, why does it so often backfire in our faces? Possibly, just possibly are we trying to do too much-- couldn't be! No, it's Uncle Harry's fault, such a grouch, no one wants him around. He's the one that is making my Christmas season less than joyous, or my boss, or my wife, the idiot driver in front of me; it just depends on who's in the picture at that particular moment.
It's always easier to just blame it on the circumstances of our lives, or blame someone else than to look in our own backyard. Eastern sages have a saying, ''wherever I go, there I am.'' In other words, if life is good, relationships are well healed, or at least have the boundary lines drawn, the stress of the holiday may make things feel rushed or a little harried, but shouldn't make you feel like you need a drink or create the kind of friction that makes life feel unbearable.
Christmas may or may not be the time for you to begin to seriously look at what's underneath all those uncomfortable feelings. If it is, then Christmas may have bestowed a special gift on you this year: the kind of changes that bring a lasting peace and joy: the kind of changes you've always wanted to make in your life.
When the rush of the season comes down hard, remember to first be kind to yourself. Don't expect things to go perfectly. Be willing to laugh at yourself when things don't go as expected. Besides, it saves someone else laughing at your first.
Here are some other ideas, mostly shopping (everyone's major complaint) that may help reduce holiday stress.
1. It's the nineties, shop the internet! It saves time, money and maybe your sanity. You can shop at your own pace rather than someone else's. Even if you don't find what you are looking for, the best sites will give you lots of ideas to work with. Don't know how it will fit or look? Some sites, if you don't mind giving them your measurements, will dress a model with your measurements in their clothing.
2. Don't have a net connection? How about that as a gift.
3. Still not into the net? Catalogs are great. They'll wrap and ship.
4. Shop with a list; make a map if needed to keep you from backtracking. If you have favorite stores, you may know what their off times are when it's not quite as crowded-- certainly not the weekends!
5. Gift certificates done over the phone for service items hair, nails, tanning sessions, massages, weekend getaways are wonderful gifts that are only a phone call away.
Don't make the blitz and shine of Christmas something it isn't, a pinnacle, a peak after which all other days should be measured. It's an ambitious goal that is not realistic. Try measuring the day with memories of unconditional love, trust, forgiveness, second chances, comfort, joy, courage or acceptance, all are food for the heart and soul. The real things of Christmas!
Till next time, Rebecca.