For many Christmas is a time of joy and happiness. Treasured family moments of good food, cheer and company.
For some, the holidays can be a tough time. The grief that comes with loss, either a loved one or one's physical health, can become magnified during this festive season.
What can you do to blow those Christmas blues away.
Recognize that this time of year is stressful. All the hustle and bustle, the sensory overload of music, lights and commitments.
Give yourself the gift of peace. It is OK to admit that you need some time to yourself.
It is OK to ask for help too. Christmas is the time of year we not only give, but we can receive. If you need support ask your family, friends, Church or if need be, professionals.
Speaking of giving, Christmas does not have to be about how much money we spend. Time spent with others is just as valuable, indeed for some, it will be a priceless gift.
If you find yourself alone seek out others. Inquire about volunteering at a Day Care or local library. Recapture the Christmas spirit seeing the joy on young faces.
Other volunteer activities could be visiting a Retirement Home, Hospital, helping at a shelter or even seeing if the local SPCA could use some assistance. Many organizations are just as stressed at this time of year and may welcome your gift of time. It never hurts to ask!
Get out and about. Christmas is the season where community activities are in overdrive. Churches, senior clubs, community centres offer everything from craft shops to dinners. Take advantage of these events.
Just walking down the main street, or if it's cold the mall, can lift one's spirits. Enjoy the bright lights, glittering decorations and displays. Breathe in the smells of baked goods and chocolate.
Enjoy the music! You don't have to be a member of a church to attend their services. Indeed this is the time of year they will welcome any stranger! Churches have many events scheduled, and some will even have a Blue Christmas/Longest Night service on December 21st that focuses on remembering those who are no longer with us at this time of year in a supportive atmosphere.
Let these new experiences remind you of the joy you have felt in Christmas' past and look forward to a New Year with new possibilities.
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” Laura Ingalls Wilder