For many of us, the holiday season may be a mixed emotional bag. It is a touchstone of the year, and past memories may be less “dancing sugar plums fairies” and more a “Grinch who stole your Christmas”. Either way, they are memories of Christmas past and it is up to us to create new memories and traditions which serve us in positive ways and put the “happy” into your holidays. I have someone close to me when the first of December rolls around, she immediately laments about how difficult the month is for her. Granted, she did have several years of really sad stuff happen, deaths of parents, heavy family drinking issues, etc. However those things occurred many, many years ago. The sad thing is she continues to allow those memories to shut her down from enjoying the many wonderful holidays her family have tried to create for her and the many years she witnessed her children as they experienced the magic of Christmas.

How sad for her…and for everyone who let past holidays hijack the possibility of  wonderful holidays today. How sad for those who consciously refuse to ever again see Christmas through the sparkling excited eyes of a child or to allow themselves to graciously receive thoughtful, lovely gifts from family and friends. For years, she and many like her do not even allow themselves the fun of attending holiday festivities or the joy giving to others during this season.

I acknowledge the fact that for many people, the holidays can be lonely or depressing, and I realize that memories, dormant during the year, may seem to show up along with the Christmas decorations. None of us get through life unscathed by pain or sadness. There are situations where therapy is needed, and if that’s the case, I certainly recommend it. However, I believe we have the choice to be resilient and create new memories and not focus on those bad ones. Besides, why re-live the stuff we wish we never wanted to have lived in the first place?

Make this the best of your holidays!