Here come the holidays – the time of greatest depression.
I remember a Thanksgiving years ago where it seemed “everyone” was talking about going home to turkey and all we had was bologna. If you are in that situation, Google your town and free Thanksgiving dinner – if you are like my dad you might want to volunteer as well as have dinner.
The other greatest catalysts of holiday blues are expectations. Mine, and others.
- Expectations of self – how I think I should look, feel, dress, cook
- What I think each holiday should look like – house, food, gifts, etc.
- How things always were – or keeping up with others traditions
- What family members might want to do or not do for Thanksgiving or Christmas
- What others might express they are doing ‘making’ me think I have to do similar
- What I think I should answer when others ask what we are doing
- Realizing that most are not really others’ expectations – but what I THINK their expectations are
How I will simplify this year:
- Poll the family about food – have a pot luck, serve dinner somewhere, or get together for games and snacks only.
- Skip the gigantic Christmas card list. Make a simple card and email or snail mail only to those at a distance.
- Do something different –get gifts for the toddlers only and do a “white elephant gift exchange” for the adults. We all need to clean house, and it is always fun to see what crazy things show up. OR draw names and find or make something fun for a crazy price – say $5.00 or $7.50 and if you make it or find it for less, include the change.
- If small children are involved, have them act, sing, play instrument, do a puppet show – even adults could participate in a talent night sharing the meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.
- Poll family if next year we can do a red envelope tree – each family give a red envelope containing a gift like chickens or blankets to a mission (MAF), or a gift for Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, or each one give a bowl for Empty Bowls Racine in March.
- Keep the traditions that count — We like to attend a Thanks-Giving service at church the night before the holiday, and it’s tradition to go through the greeting cards and pray for the senders – before and after Christmas.
Most importantly, spend time with those you love!