Surviving the Holidays

I hope you’ve done all of your holiday shopping so far like I have. If you’re anything like me and you have zero patience at the mall during this season, then you better make it a new years gift, lol. The holidays are usually joyous and a festive time to celebrate. However, for people who’ve lost loved ones during the year or around the holidays over the years’ this maybe a difficult time for them.

I know that we as a society get caught up in holiday parties/events and shopping for ourselves/others during this time. But I implore you to reach out to someone you haven’t heard from and do a little extra to make sure they’re ok during this season. Whether you invite them to spend time with you and your family or physically go to their house to check on them, be earnest to bring a little holiday joy to someone different in your life.

I know when I lost my grandmother a few years ago at the beginning of December, I didn’t look forward to Christmas or New Year’s that year. However, being around loved ones made it a little more bearable. I’ll never forget a group of my Sorority sisters came over a few days after my grandmother passed with some food and wine.  We ate, drank and made Dr. Pepper floats (you had to go to Baylor to appreciate the significance of this) while laughing  and reminiscing on better days. I will never forget how special I felt because they took time out to stop by and lift my spirit.

Also, feel free to encourage someone grieving through the holidays to reminisce on the memories while making new traditions. Whether they do something totally different from their normal holiday routine or go somewhere they wouldn’t normally visit. Encourage them to do what they need to do to take care of themselves!

If you are reading this and YOU are struggling with surviving the holidays be honest about it. Call someone you can openly talk to about what you’re going through. Also, don’t feel obligated to attend every event you’ve been invited to. But if you do, have an exit plan.

I met someone at a holiday party this year who lost her mom a few weeks prior and she had to excuse herself several times from conversations because she became emotional. I applauded her for attending an event she probably didn’t necessarily want to attend but I also encouraged her to know when it was time to call it quits and go home. She thanked me for my advice and before I left we took a picture together and exchanged numbers. I gave her a raffle ticket I received entering the party (because I left early) and a week later she called me and told me she won a gift basket!

My hope is that we are infectious in our intention to spread holiday cheer and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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