Keeping Your Joy During Christmas
“Joy to the World” is a song I have sang during the Christmas season since I was a very young girl. Christmas is a time to gather with friends and family, decorate your tree, and buy gifts for loved ones. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle, it is easy to lose sight of the joy of Christmas and the holiday season. With all of the running around picking up this and that, pressure to buy the latest and greatest for your little one, not to mention the cooking and cleaning, women can end up feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and just plain resentful.
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
“Women already perform the bulk of emotional labor…but during the holidays this work ramps up,” says Gemma Hartley (2017, Healthy Living Blog HuffPost, https://www.huffingtonpost.com). This was typical in my family. My mother and I would start cooking by 7:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve, host Christmas Eve festivities, hold Christmas morning brunch, go to my relatives to open presents, and then come home and cook some more. Does any of this sound familiar?
I have often sacrificed my own joy during the holidays just to make sure that it all went perfectly. As everyone else sat around watching the parade and football, I was working my butt off. I thought this was the sacrifice I was supposed to make as a mom and that I was “being a good mom,” “being a giver.” Christmas should be one of the highlights of being a mom, not a time for me to feel resentful, overwhelmed and drained of my joy. Right?
I had a choice to make: joy or resentment/overwhelm/exhaustion. Guess what? I chose JOY!
Here are few simple changes I made when I chose joy.
1. Get Intentional
Explore things that have and continue to bring you joy during Christmas and don’t miss them. Maybe it is watching your child’s face fill with wonder when s/he notices the cookies for Santa are gone. Do what brings YOU joy and keep doing that.
2. Take time to relax and enjoy
This may be one of the hardest things to do in everyday life, let alone at Christmas. Take a moment to notice the joy you bring to your child when you are fully present. The connection that is made when you smile back and laugh. Your joy increases the joy of others.
Ask yourself, “What do I really ‘need’ to do right now? What will happen if I don’t do this task right now?” Take a moment to pause, breathe, and notice what is really important.
IT’S WORTH IT
Is it worth it to focus on joy? I say a big huge “YES!” Not only will you decrease stress and several other unhelpful emotions, you will receive some bonuses!
- You will feel good.
- You will laugh more.
- You will attract feelings of abundance.
- You will feel more energized and motivated.
- You will inspire others to feel joy.
- You will feel connection.
- You will love even more.
I don’t know of any better way to experience the joy of Christmas. Do you? I empower you to choose to focus on YOUR JOY. What do you have to lose?