Dread. That’s what I hear so much of from so many about the holidays.
And I get it. Introverts or socially anxious folks who are still wishing we all had to stay at home are now being invited to holiday parties. It’s always nice to be invited… but to go?
Idealists who feel intense pressure to create “magic” at the holidays. But just how do you do that? We don’t feel we have to create any magic for April Fools or May Day. Why in December?
Spiritual people who hate that the importance and meaning of their religious ceremonies are being drowned out by discount sales and list after list of ‘to-dos.’
People whose memories of “home” are riddled with pain and emptiness. Who may even be estranged from family. Or are single or newly divorced or simply alone.
Grieving people whose 2023 included great loss. People whose countries are at war or their families are in danger. People who feel overcome by violence and feel helpless.
So… where are these folks and many others supposed to find meaning or even joy during the holidays?
Giving what is natural for you to give…
Here’s one idea to help you simplify things. Give what is natural for you to give.
What do I mean by that?
I’m a terrible baker because I don’t follow instructions and am far from precise. Me trying to bake cookies is like the Grinch (prior to his transformation) attempting to be nice.
I’m not a very good gift giver. I gave my son cooking knife sets two years in a row. The second year, he was in LA (because it was during the pandemic) and he looked at me, and simply said, “Well Mom, I loved them last year too.” What a sweet kid… So spending hours shopping isn’t my strong suit.
Now you may be saying, “Well you mean you’re not going to give presents?”
No. But what do I (and you) do easily and well? What comes naturally to you?
During the pandemic, a friend who sings beautifully created a FB post of her singing. It brought tears to my eyes. That was a lovely gift from her to all of us.
What comes naturally to me is writing. Being funny. And cooking.
Maybe you’re funny too and can find memes that will leave your friends in stitches. Great gift.
So the writer in me will write notes to folks. The cook in me will send recipes to those who’d said, “I really like that thing you make.” The part of me who accepts my forgetfulness will send those presents to my friends that I bought right after the our reunion last year but that I forgot to send. And if I forget again, I’ll laugh and say, “I’ve already got your gift for 2024!
So what comes naturally to you?
Because whatever it is, doing it won’t be irksome or tiresome. Overwhelming or a chore. It’ll be what you do well.
And that’s all the magic anyone needs to receive.
You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
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