Growing up, the holiday season was a highly anticipated time I looked forward to every year. Cooking homemade meals with family and friends, decorating the house from top to bottom, blasting Christmas music everywhere I went- these were traditions I held close. After losing a family member, times changed. Our house felt emptier, money was tighter, and the holiday "spirit" seemed to be something from the past. I was envious of my friends, for their big Christmas family dinners and outings. Family looked different to me for the first time since I was a kid. Even now that I've become somewhat accustomed to a new "normal" around the holidays, it can still be a lonely time.
If the holidays look different to you this year, just remember that you're not alone.
Maybe you've lost a parent or can't return home for the holidays. Maybe you've lost your job in light of the pandemic or find yourself growing more distant from people you've known for years. Whatever the case may be, adjusting to new circumstances during the holidays can be a struggle. It can be isolating, however, it can also be a time to create new traditions and appreciate the people that you do have in your life.
Something I've challenged myself to do this month is be more intentional with the people I care about. Practicing gratitude can be difficult if you find yourself reminiscing on old times, but it can also help you stay present. As you enter the new year, I urge you to find little things in your life that make your days lighter and give you hope and healing. Reconnect with old friends, practice self-care, and love on the family that you do have. You might find that the holiday season, even if it looks difficult, can still bring you some peace and love after all.