I confess, I’m a holiday Grinch. People find this surprising about me because in general, I'm a friendly, upbeat sort of person. And, I’ve been known to bake and decorate the occasional sugar cookie. But the truth is, I don’t love the holidays.
Oh, lots of reasons. And all of which are personal to me, and none of your business. I don’t sound so friendly and upbeat now do I? Well, I’m not alone. In fact, right around this time of year, many of my clients confess their own dislike/dread of the holidays.
There’re plenty of us Grinches. We have our reasons for feeling the way we do, and contrary to popular belief, not one of them is that our hearts are three sizes too small.
Some of us are coping with loss. Some are coping with illness. Some have strained or estranged family relationships loaded with emotional baggage. Some are alone. Some are just plain tired. Some are grappling with the waste of it all, and the cost of it all, and the forced merriment of it all.
Maybe for you, the holidays live up to the hype. Maybe this time of year is magical, joyful and full of love and cheer. That’s truly lovely. But let’s face it. Few of us actually feel the way we think we’re supposed to during the holidays. There’s stress and vexation and if we’re honest, at times a sense of emptiness born of unrealistic expectations.
So this year, as you seek peace on earth and good will to men and all that, consider the Grinches in your life. Maybe they don’t want to be a part of the Secret Santa. Maybe they’re not into Christmas carols. And maybe they’d just rather work through the office holiday party.
Have compassion for them. Give them the space they need to get through the season in their own way. Rather than questioning their choices, or worse, trying to fix them with your abundance of sparkly Christmas spirit, simply nod in understanding.
And then, offer them a sugar cookie.