• The Hopefulist

The struggle of the holidays

It's hard for me to imagine because I am the Christmas crazy lady but there are some people that don't enjoy the holidays or even look forward to them. They think about the impending holiday with dread and drudgery.

I've been putting a lot of thought into why I love Christmas so much lately. I think it goes back to the fact that even though I was single for many years in my adulthood my mother always made sure Christmas was special for me. I would spend the night at her house every Christmas Eve and wake up to presents under the tree and a stuffed stocking. I know this is the season of giving and as much as I love to give gifts I love to get them too! I'm still like a little kid that way.

The more thought I put into it though I think it was just a time when someone went out of their way to make me feel special. Up until I got married it may have been the only time I was made to feel special. But I know that some people aren't as lucky as me so they don't have the warm, excited feeling of the holidays.

Before I came along my husband would wake up on Christmas morning at his house with no gifts and nothing to make the day stand out from any other day. I couldn't even imagine that. I know a lot of people do and it really makes me sad. It's one of the reasons I try to make Christmas special for him every year. Kind of making up for all those years in the past.

If this is your situation my advice is to spend Christmas Eve night with loved ones. Ask if you can be part of someone else's Christmas morning. Especially if they have young children. There is nothing like watching the magic of Christmas through the eyes of the young who are caught up in the spirit.

I did this in my 30's. There was one year when my mother and I weren't speaking so my cousin invited me to spend Christmas morning with his wife and young daughter. It was a Christmas morning I'll never forget watching her joy and excitement finding a pile of gifts under the tree in the morning. It's important for people like me who don't have kids of their own. It reminds you of your own childhood and how excited you were on Christmas morning. It's magical.

Now, that same cousin is divorced and his daughter is about to graduate high school. Once him and his wife split my husband and I decided to spend Christmas Eve night there. It really started out of convenience because we don't live close to family. We had traditions on Christmas Eve and of course Christmas Day. It was a lot to travel back home for a few hours and then head right back to Pennsylvania so we asked if we could stay with him. When we woke up on Christmas morning that year he had a pile of gifts for my husband and I as well. I was hooked after that so that is where we spend Christmas morning every year.

It's fun because I have someone extra to buy for and spoil with gifts I hope they will enjoy. And I get more presents too. Yes, I know...it's not about that but I love presents! Then we all watch his daughter open gift after gift and hope she gets finished by noon when she goes to her moms house. It's been close a couple of times! That girl gets a lot!

But maybe you don't care about any of that. I can't imagine it but maybe you don't. If that is the case then plan the most amazing Christmas morning for yourself. However that looks for you. Sleep in late. Make your favorite food for breakfast. Get yourself some fancy coffee or tea. Maybe a nice, long leisurely bath to start your day. Watch your favorite shows on tv or check out a new movie you've been wanting to see. Or just sit and chill doing whatever you want.

Try to take in some of the things that you can find joy in. Take a ride around the neighborhood and look all the lights people have at their homes. Have a holiday cocktail. Drink some eggnog. Go to the mall....yes, the mall...and see all the decorations. Take your time and don't be rushed. Don't let other people's hurry and rudeness get to you.

Bake your favorite cookies and give them out as gifts or keep them all for yourself. You don't have to love Christmas to find joy in some of the traditions. Pick out the parts you do like and concentrate on them. Maybe it's a holiday movie you love to watch every year. Or getting a cup of hot cocoa to drive around looking at lights. Or getting together with friends. Or parties! Whatever it is have the best possible attitude that you are going to enjoy yourself.

And last but not least, buy your own darn Christmas presents. If you don't typically splurge on other people than splurge on yourself. You are worth it. You are special and you deserve to be made to feel special. Never forget that.

The Hopefulist wishes you the most joyous holiday of all. I hope it's your best Christmas yet. Focus on what you love about the season instead of what you don't. It's really always that simple. Not always easy but simple.

Don't forget I offer personal positivity training if this is an area you think you can improve in. I can help. I will tell you the tried and true tools that helped turn this lifelong pessimist into the Hopefulist. Consider gifting a 5-week program to the grinch in your life. Contact me now for more information!

If you like this episode please leave a review, hit the follow or subscribe button and share with your friends! I will be most grateful. Thank you for tuning in today.

Now go out there and have the most badass Christmas ever. I'm always here cheering you on.

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