14 Dec 2012

Beating the Bah Humbug

No Comments Christmas, Live your best Life

happiness“I Hate Christmas.” my client lamented.  What don’t you like about it I asked? And then he started with his laundry list of reasons why Christmas sucks.  He misses his departed mom and it will bring up guilt around the way they spent their last Christmas together.  He sites that as the reason why he hates it when his wife tries so hard to perfect his mother’s shortbread recipe, and then ridicules herself and goes on about it for weeks when the cookies don’t turn out.  He hates how he has to go to his in-laws and watch his brother-in law don another dorky sweater and dramatically pass out gifts to the kids even though everyone there knows he can’t afford it.  He had a big list of reasons why he hates Christmas.  What about you? Do you have a similar list?

Last year at Christmas I encouraged you to purge your Christmas angst by sitting yourself down and making a list of all the reasons you hate Christmas.  If you didn’t do that, go back and read last year’s article I HATE CHRISTMAS.  The point of doing this exercise is to help you shift your perspective. Instead of the lens that Christmas is something to endure or get through, the deeper work is considering what it could be.  Instead of resisting Christmas, work on reminding yourself of this simple truth, it comes around every year.  Consider how many more years you potentially have to live, and that is how many more Christmas’s you have coming your way.  Do you really want to feel this December misery for that many more years to come? Are you willing to work on shifting your Christmas attitude to what you WANT it to be?

Like my client, you have some things that are not going to change anytime soon.  My client will never again have Christmas with his mom, nor is he going to be rid of his brother in-law.  But, like anything in life, Christmas is what you make of it. Whether you are surrounded by so much family you can only dream of getting away from them all, or are dreading another Christmas morning alone, everyone shares some of the hurdles of the season. It’s how we handle them that’s important.

Do you work on living your best life this time of year?  Take a moment to picture your perfect Christmas and then work on emulating that new ideal.  Don’t let Christmas’s of the past get in the way of the many magical moments you can still create with the people you care about.

My friend Natalie passed along this letter she found on-line.  Full credit due to the author of this wonderful way to look at the nature of Santa and how to deal with older children that are coming into the knowing that something is up with this whole crazy story.

Even though this is written as a thought to share with children, how could you apply these same principals to your Christmas this year?

Dear ______________,

You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”

I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will.

My greatest hope for everyone is that they release the things that keep them from having the love, magic, hope and happiness that is there for all of us throughout the year.  This year my wish for you is that you focus on what you can have this Christmas, and allow with love, the past to be the past, and the present to be a gift.

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Beth supports people in finding solutions to everyday problems!
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