Friday, December 18, 2015

When Happy + Holidays Isn't Happening
Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! How 'bout those Starbucks cups?

Wait -- don't go away. If there's no happy in your holiday, no merry in your Christmas and you couldn't care less what Starbucks puts on their cups, this post is for you.

What if you simply can't make the holidays happy?

Yesterday, when I got the bill to repair my daughter's water- damaged laptop, happy would not be the word I'd use to describe my Christmas countdown. In fact, as the person who knocked over the water that damaged the laptop, I had a pretty nice self-pity party.

And then I remembered. It's only money. Not that money doesn't matter -- especially now, as families attempt to deck halls and trim trees and light candles and purchase presents -- but it matters less than a lot of things. People, for example.

Sometimes, we can't just write a check and make everything all better. Even if money is no object, no matter how big the check, it won't bring back an estranged spouse, a lost child, a beloved parent. And while it can be tempting to just close our eyes and take a long winter's nap until the holidays pass, finding the bittersweet spot between what happy holidays has always meant and what it means this year might just be a better idea.

But don't take my word for it. Take it from someone who knows. In her Huffington Post blog, Dr. Gloria Horsley shares not only the slow thaw that is holiday grief (over a period of years), but her own experience as well. More than thirty years after the death of her son, she's still lighting candles in his memory, but now, it's more about remembering in love than wincing in pain.

If your idea of decking the halls requires these,
you're not alone.
(Photo: Pixabay)
This Christmas, I'm feeling blessed. Aside from the hole in my checking account to restore my daughter's damaged laptop, life is good.

But just because that's true for me -- this year -- that doesn't mean it's true for everyone. 'Tis the season to be kind, whether it means driving a little less aggressively or understanding when someone can't return our smile or well wishes. Go forth and spread joy!

But aim for compassion when others can't do the same.

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