I have a confession and unfortunately, it is a confession that I find myself making year after year.
I start each Christmas season with the very best of intentions. I won’t rush, I won’t lose the joy of the season and above all, I will stop comparing myself to others.
I know I am not the only one who does it. As the saying goes: “don’t compare your everyday life to someone else’s highlight reel.”
Something dawned on me tonight after feeling particularly down.
I had lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent books that I placed within easy reach of our family had gotten swept aside in favor of Christmas movies.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Christmas movies as next as the next person, but when you lose the focus on the reason that we, as Christians, celebrate Christmas the joy can simply fade away.
My friends all tease me because I am so excited to start listening (way too early) to Christmas music and can’t wait to put up my tree. I think it all stems from the fact that Christmas is a time to celebrate, so in November and even in late October I am 100% behind all things Christmas.
When the season actually comes around and it is time to celebrate I start comparing my season to the season others are sharing. I compare to friends that are baking beautiful cookies or friends who seem to make it to each and every Christmas function that appears on the community calendar. While all I seem to want to do is sit on the couch in my warm house.
I realized that as simple as it sounds, just because they are doing the things that you think would make you happier, doesn’t mean that it will.
In fact, I was chatting with one of my friends today that I admire greatly and whom I often think has everything going for her, and I realized that I was just looking at her highlight reel.
Here’s my solution to falling into the trap of comparing your holiday season (or any other season for that matter) to others.
Christmas Season Comparison Solutions:
- Dust off your Advent books and Christmas readings and get focused on the reason for the season.
- Reach out to a friend that you know is hurting, the holiday season is often painful for many.
- Schedule a volunteer session for you and your family. Volunteering is often a great way to put your own worries and problems into perspective.
- Deliver treats to your friends and neighbors to show that you care.
Here is the important part. If you enjoy baking and you have the time then deliver home-baked goods. If you don’t have the time or you don’t enjoy doing it, then pick up some store-bought treats. No one is going to turn down treats based on where they were made!
- Adopt an Angel from the Angel Tree. If your family isn’t able to shoulder the entire angel tree purchase then why not go in with another family.
- Ask your child’s school if there are children who need assistance this year. My kid’s school does a tree for kids who are in need of a warm coat.
- Put down the wrapping paper, stop addressing the cards and take a break to be with your family, really be with them in the moment.
While I realize that not every low moment during the Christmas Season can be cured by doing the things that I have listed above, I do believe that they are a good start.
I would love to know what you do when you find yourself in the middle of the Christmas season blues, be sure to leave your suggestions in the comment section.