Be Sad or Be Glad Holidays
Christmas time - a lonely time
For several or more years after my kids left home and I was alone for holidays for the most part, I really hated seeing them come up. For over five years I quit buying presents, quit putting up a tree, or decorations of any kind. I did not even cook any kind of special meals. My husband has been very kind and understanding during this whole crisis of mine, and even got depressed with me. If that is not the height of understanding, I don't know what is.
This year I have decided to stop it and have tried my best to get into the holiday spirit, and here is why and what I have decided to do. Here also, are some suggestions for others who may have the same problem with the holidays, for I know there are quite a few of us holiday haters out there.
The first and I think most important thing to do or not to do, as the case may be, is to isolate. Holiday haters and those who maybe don't actually hate but get depressed and cry through them, tend to get alone and stay that way, for they don't want to spread it around or let anybody else see them like this. Isolation really makes everything worse, and magnifies the problems and the loneliness ten fold. The sad and disturbing part of this is that there are so many folks out there who would like to celebrate Christmas, but do not have the money or other resources to be able to have the kind of holiday that they would like to spend with their kids and other family. Sometimes it isn't the money, but a matter of distance that they cannot be with some of their family members. This is the case with me and my youngest son and his family, for due to work availability, had to move from Calif. to Iowa. This comes as a hard blow to those who are used to having a close family gathering during any holiday.
For these circumstances, a suggestion might be to make yourself available to others, whether it be through a church or other organization, find a way to be of some kind of help to those who need it. This not only makes some of your time fly by, but it gives you a feeling of gratification when you know that you have helped someone who really needs it. Look for ways to give gifts to youngsters. There are many organizations out there, that you can even see on the television at this time of year, like Toys for Tots, that could use not only a gift, but would be glad to take you up on a volunteer of time on your part.
I have taken up the slack at our public library and have volunteered one day a month to read stories to some young ones, and this, even though it does not take up a whole day, but only a couple of hours, is very fulfilling. There is something about spending time with a group out 7 year old kids that tickles your heart. They are still so fresh and innocent, and willing to look up to you and believe whatever you say. Even though I am volunteering my time to be with them, I feel like it is I who comes out of the time, feeling like it was they who gave something to me, and not the other way around.
Contact the organizations like maybe the boys or girls clubs, the girl scouts, the four H, or any other kids groups to see if there is some way that you could help out the young families in your area. When I think back about how I struggled sometimes when mine were young, it was not always easy to make Christmas a fun and good time for them, especially when finances were tight. Many people are not aware of how many kids really need a grandma or grandpa during this time of year especially.
The main theme of this story though, I guess would be, just do not sit and brood. Make yourself useful and spend the time being there for somebody, for if you think about it, even though they may not be your family, they are someones family, and they need you as much as you might need them. Be of good cheer.
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