Here’s what I’ve come to realize about holiday emotions: Even as an adult we are unconsciously bringing our past holiday emotions into today’s holiday celebrations. Holiday memories can often become a mixed bag of emotions – some happy and joyful, some sweet and sentimental and even some that are disappointing and stressful.
I’m not a psychologist but, I believe that if we make the time to recognize, honor and make peace with our holiday emotions, we’ll be able to enjoy the upcoming holiday season with less stress and more joy.
I remember hearing a young couple talking about how Thanksgiving morning always turned into a battle at their house, even if they weren’t hosting a family gathering. The more they talked about how their “growing up” families celebrated Thanksgiving, the more they began to understand why Thanksgiving was so stressful.
The young man’s mother truly disliked cooking and entertaining and made sure everyone understood the sacrifice she was making preparing the many courses of a traditional holiday meal. Every year there was tension, arguments and tears associated with Thanksgiving.
The young woman’s father was a perfectionist and always worried the relatives would find some fault with dinner. She said you could cut the tension with a knife because her father “knit-picked” everything and she remembered it was like walking on eggshells around the house.
With the above scenario in mind, could this couple be bringing some of those childhood emotions into their adult marriage and household?
I invite you to look at your emotions and traditions around the holidays – are they joyful or stressful? Are you bringing some old “emotional baggage” into your current situation?
The great news is that as an adult, you have the power to create your own holiday memories so why not choose to create positive and joyful ones!
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