About The Holly Days

The holidays are hard for many folks, for any number of reasons.  Mid-November through January, while billed as “the most wonderful time of the year”, can instead be a time of discouragement, sadness, and struggle. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and pain can be heightened.  It’s easy to feel like the whole world is reveling in the gaiety of the holidays while you can barely muster a weak “Happy holidays” to the grocery store cashier.  The thought of buying gifts, sending cards, decorating the house seems like too much to bear…let alone dealing with family you see but once a year.  Believe me, I get it.

Just before Thanksgiving, one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, shared the story of her first holiday with her family after getting sober.  She said she had started worrying about Thanksgiving all the way back in August because she felt like the holidays made her family go crazy and she couldn’t help but get the crazy all over her.  A friend pulled her aside and reminded her that Thanksgiving was just a Thursday;  if she could look at it that way, she just needed to show up and not drink.  One day.  One foot in front of the other; a breathe in, a breathe out.  And he sprinkled her with purple glitter and called it fairy dust (which I just love!)

Her point was that he was there for her, God in the flesh, and that we need to be there for one another at this time of year more than any other.  I agree wholeheartedly, as my previous post suggests.  But here’s my other takeaway:

We want so much for it to be perfect in every way. We put so much weight, so much pressure, on certain holidays…but therein is the key:  holidays.

Christmas is just a Wednesday.

It might be tough.  It might be a struggle.  It might be the worst damn day you’ve had all year.

But it’s a day.  Thanksgiving is just a Thursday.  New Year’s is just a Wednesday.  (Ok, Hannukah is more than one day but you get where I’m going here….)

All you can do is take each, one day at a time.  One foot in front of the other;  breathe in and breathe out.  Even if that’s all you can do, it’s enough.

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