Is Christmas good for you?

Is Christmas good for you?

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”
Charles Dickens

Well whatever way you approach Christmas there is no doubting its existence.
Everyone has an opinion of the merit or demerit of Christmas. Some will want to avoid it like the plague. Others start Christmas in mid November and keep the Christmas cheer going into early January.

In this blog I will look at how the experience of Christmas past plays a huge part in determining how Christmas present affects us.
Also is it possible to salvage anything out of Christmas when it means nothing to us or has hurtful associations.

Your true meaning of Christmas

So what does Christmas mean for you? Is it a religious celebration of God becoming man, to save the human race?
For many of us we were raised to view Christmas primarily as a religious event. Did you dress up as a shepherd or an angel for the school nativity play? As you think back on your religious experience of Christmas do you consider it a foundation for the adult faith you now hold? Or do you view these memories as an attempt to indoctrinate you into a false belief system?

Our picture of what Christmas is or what we think it should be are ingrained in us from our childhood years. If we grow up experiencing Christmas with bright lights, a tree and presents we were always happy with we will strive to recreate this experience. This may or may not be possible. if it is not possible it can lead to a huge sense of loss, even depression.
It can lead to a lot of stress with people trying to prioritising their Christmas traditions while ignoring the needs of others they share Christmas with.

As we get older we realise that life happens at Christmas just the same as it does at other times of the year. Christmas maybe an anniversary of a difficult bereavement. Or perhaps you having your first Christmas since your bereavement.
The stress of Christmas can also put a lot of pressure on our relationships with many finding their relationships don’t stand up to the pressure.
Sickness, job loss and abusive relationships can all happen at Christmas time.

So what has Christmas left to offer?

Yes we may well have good reason to want to cancel or at least ignore Christmas. Yes there may well be times to do just that, to just let Christmas pass you by.

However I still believe that even for such a person Christmas still has somthing to offer:

  • If you would rather be alone Christmas is a perfect time to spend time to yourself as the people around you seem to just be in a different world.
  • Christmas usually means time off from work. Take advantage of it and take a holiday to escape Christmas.
  • If Christmas marks a difficult anniversary use it as a time to embrace the loss. Don’t run away from the pain. it dosen’t mean you have to invite everyone over for Christmas dinner, but it can be a time to deepen your acceptance of your loss through thoughtful remembering and actions.
  • If you are in a difficult situation with a relationship, or perhaps financial strain Christmas can be a great motivator to change your situation.
  • One of the words that is perhaps overused at Christmas time is HOPE. Hearing hope being mentioned so regularly and so in its own right be very uplifting. If you are going through a period of low mood and despair the generally positive influence of Christmas can help you believe life genuinely can get better.
  • While you may want to avoid the bling of Christmas there is nothing wrong in just stuffing yourself with your favourite food and lounging on the couch watching your selection of telly.
Has Christmas potential?

So I return to the original question; Is Christmas good for you?

Perhaps that question could be rephrased as; Would you be better off if Christmas never existed?
Think about it, never seeing, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, never getting a Christmas present, no Christmas lights!!! Would life really be better without all that?

Christmas is a season where we try to be our best selves. To put up with others that we generally wouldn’t. To bake or cook items that we have never tried before. To show our gratitude to others by buying them presents. There are opportunities to spend time with others, to reconnect.
Aren’t these good things in themselves? Can these acts of kindness and new opportunities in themselves be enough to make Christmas good?

Perhaps what knocks the good out of Christmas is us. Have we lost what makes Christmas good? Do we allow Christmas stress to overwhelm us? Are we Christmas perfectionists? Do we avoid awkward social events just because it’s awkward?

Whatever your view of Christmas may you have a blessed one.

Happy Christmas

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One Comment Hide Comments

Great naunced post.

As I think about Christmas, I think of a different quote: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” For some, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it is a horrible time.

Expectations play such a large role in determining how we view the holiday. Do we need a large family gathering to truly have a good Christmas? Do we need to have gifts piled around a beautiful tree? Do we need fresh snow on the ground and blinking lights?

Can you have a good Christmas all alone? Can you have a good Christmas even if you have a broken heart?

What exactly do we need in order to truly celebrate this holiday?

I like to say that, in the end, all one really needs came in a small box.

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