Though the temperatures are still scolding and the back to school bustle is lasting, the holiday season is just around the corner. Halloween is but a month away, Thanksgiving two, and Christmas three. Funny how time flies, isn’t it?
For plenty, the holiday season is eagerly awaited. Holiday décor is taken from stored away boxes and displayed among the home and work place, the air outside begins to feel cooler and clearer, family traditions are prepared and gatherings are scheduled. On the other hand, it is the family traditions and gatherings that can also bring stress for many. Let’s face it, no family is perfect. And if you ask some, they might declare “not perfect” as an understatement.
Certain family dynamics, histories, damaged relationships and unresolved feelings are an absolute reality of family. And with this, the degree of severity for each ranges. During the regular year, most are able to maintain their daily lives without being greatly affected by their family affairs. During the holiday season, however, individuals are placed in the same room with their lingering stress. They are forced to face what has been disregarded for quite some time. And as one might imagine, this can be difficult.
Usually the question “How do I act like everything is okay when it is not?” surfaces. And as a result, the focus of the holiday season becomes the answer to this question, rather than the holiday season itself. And what we all understand deep down, is that the holiday season stands for far more than the resolution of conflict. It stands to bring us together with the ones we love, whether we are in conflict or not. It stands to embrace tradition. It stands to create fun and excitement. It stands to initiate a step outside of our day to day routine. And more than anything, it stands to build memories for the remaining years of our lives.
So, I know what you are thinking. It is “not that easy” to set aside differences for the sake of the holiday season. But let me state, that is not what is being proposed to you. The challenge being proposed, is rather that you hold onto the joy of the holiday season. It is that you do not replace your joy with a tense effort to heal all wounds and mend all fences. Instead, you hold onto your joy despite all circumstances and dedicate an outside time to the healing of wounds and mending of fences.
In other words, you do not allow yourself to lose sight of what the holiday season truly stands for. And when this challenge appears bigger than you, remember it is not. Remember that you are capable of all things, and that also means holding onto joy when it is not easy. So, believe in yourself, believe in the spirit of the holidays, and believe in the notion that time is precious. As are you. And with the time that is given to you, believe that wounds will be able to heal, and fences will begin to mend.