A Little Holiday Magic

Holidays are hard for those of us with anxiety.

I am a bucket of cliches right now. Dating during the holidays, stressed about getting everything done (just bought and began sending out Christmas cards today!), blowing off work to decorate and snuggle, everything is feeling merry and bright…it’s a hard turn to the right from where I was last year. Hell, it’s a hard turn to the right from where I was two months ago.

My aunt, who doesn’t know about David yet, sent me a holiday card with a cute bit of paper mistletoe, with wishes for holiday kisses. I laughed because she was so on point for me this year! I’m going to make good use of it too…

We’re in a bit of a sticky spot for the holidays this year with my family. My mom, who is still recovering from the trauma of my brother’s accident, is being a little grinchy. She isn’t really working right now, but what work she is doing is challenging because of some misbehaving employees. It stresses her out because she isn’t there to be in control, and it – along with a lot of other concerns – are smothering her holiday spirit. She didn’t want me to make cookies, she has been a bit mean about decorating the inside and outside trees, and I don’t want to upset her (and I’m still not sure what all of this is about), so I didn’t make a big deal about any of it and quietly went about tree decorating and light wrapping. She hasn’t been very appreciative, but then again she isn’t throwing any more fits about it. I’ll take it. My dad may not make it back from a work trip for Christmas, and one of my brothers was a no-show at Thanksgiving because of drama with his ex, so maybe she just isn’t in a place to make some effort that may not see the results she wants.

I’m trying to help my grandma through Christmas, and have the job of getting her new assisted recliner to her. My uncle dumped this on me, and she isn’t going to be happy because she doesn’t like new things or being old. It’s a lot of emotional energy to care for my grandma, and holidays are that much more work with her because she has gotten pretty negative about it. She can’t do what she used to, so she just doesn’t participate.

So where is the magic? It’s in me doing it anyway, in not letting my family take me down, in spending time with a many I deeply enjoy getting to know in the middle of my crazy schedule and taking time out to make Christmas a great thing for people who aren’t able to make that happen for themselves. Holidays are hard for those of us with anxiety. Holidays are hard for those of us who have survived trauma and who care for our families, for those of us who are surrounded by more negativity than joy. If you’re in that place, I hope you find some holiday magic to help you through. I’m so very grateful for mine.

5 thoughts on “A Little Holiday Magic”

  1. Thank you for the post ☺ I was actually just in tears a few moments ago because all of my anxiety and depression is really getting to me this holiday season. I used to love the holidays and enjoyed giving gifts that had so much meaning to them. I used to love decorating and window shopping, etc. However, this year, I haven’t bought gifts for anyone and I don’t even have a tree up. I feel like I’ve lost my holiday spirit and I desperately want to get it back again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am dragging myself through it. I think there are so many expectations around the holidays – give the gifts, go to ALL THE EVENTS AND GATHERINGS, be in a good mood, eat the food but don’t gain weight, buy the stuff, cook the food, wear the right things, take all the selfies, sing all the songs (and this is where I confess to not listening to Christmas music if I can avoid it because it just annoys me)…where does it end? And since we are surrounded by people who buy into it, the pressure is that much more when you just aren’t feeling it! I want to just rest quietly at home for a few days…or weeks…

      You cannot give a better gift than to give yourself some space and grace. If you don’t fit in the holiday box, build your own box! Or my new preferred method, visit other boxes then return to your non-box. I think the holidays are about joy, so do what brings you joy and don’t worry about the rest. Today wrapping the bare crepe myrtle tree by my front door in white lights brought me joy, so I labored away atop a ladder in the mist and cold to accomplish that. Sending Christmas cards brought me joy so I wrote and addressed dozens of cards. Wrapping presents and buying one more damn thing did not, so I didn’t. I hope you find joy this season, and if not, that you will allow yourself to release that for another time and find what does work for you in this moment of your journey <3.

      Liked by 1 person

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