The Cookie Cutter Christmas
Cookie cutter by Wilton
Christmas! Some say that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Though I agree (it’s my favorite holiday for many reasons), for some, it’s not so wonderful as it may seem. Extra expenses due to the holiday season, expectation of gifts to give to loved ones, personal analytical judgement and reflection on if you achieved your resolutions and goals this past year….I’m not gonna lie peeps, it’s tough out there. (Ok, this is getting depressing. I promise, I have a point!)
I know there’s a lot of added pressure at the end of the year. I’ve been doing this to myself for many, many years. I tirelessly try to work as much as I can to “make the rest of the year count.” But one thing I’m beginning to see is that all the pressure that I feel….that negative anxiety, that hole in my stomach, that need for extreme change because of the “I’m not good enough” stigma…is all self-inflicted and unnecessary. And it’s turning me into a Scrooge…bah-humbug status.
I’ve told a lot of my friends that if there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that patience is truly a virtue. I used to be the type of person that needed answers now. I was the type of person that needed to fix things right away, get things right away, achieve my goals right away. And when it didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, I came down really hard on myself. But then I realized that the high expectations I had for myself and the guilt that I felt for not achieving my long list of goals was so bad for me. It’s what led me to my Scrooge-ish ways and I knew I had to change. So my steps to healthier decisions and a positive attitude became the following:
- Talk to someone! Actually, let me rephrase that. Talk to people. People you trust. It never hurts to get multiple points of view to help you make a decision. Tell them how you’re feeling and what has happened to make you feel this way.
- Let it marinade. One of the worst things I am trying to fix about myself is impromptu decisions. If you take the time to let things sit, all while trying work it out rationally, then your decision in the end will probably be something you won’t regret. Trying to come up with decisions on the fly are never good because of different reasons – your emotions are high, your adrenaline is running, you’re not thinking clearly, etc.
- Pray. God gives me strength, and he gives me the faith I need to continue on in this world. When I feel hopeless, He is the best to turn to. And the best part is you have nothing to hide with Him. I’m truly blessed because every time I’m afraid, sad, even happy (but scared of when things might take a turn for the worse) He always gives me reassurance, hope, and a sense of peace. No matter what.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,so why should I tremble?
In due time, the answer we’re looking for will come. At this time of year, we see the carolers singing, the family TV shows full of cheer, the dinners with family and friends, and the gifts under the tree. We sometimes think this is how we’re supposed to act during the holiday season. But just remember, this isn’t what Christmas is all about. It’s a time to remember to live a Godly life. To give as much as you can, be thankful for being alive even through troubled times, and to celebrate life. Living and breathing is a gift in itself.
So don’t worry about that cookie cutter Christmas. Enjoy the rest of the year being where you are now and start thinking about your goals for next year!