Social Media can be pretty cruel during the holidays. When most folks are posting about their perfect trees, perfect matching PJs, perfect wrapping paper, perfect Christmas Cards and of course the perfect families.
Not all of us have perfect lives to post. So it makes it hard to go through all the posts and not be a little sad about our own lives and mental states. Like the moms who have just divorced, the dads who have lost their wives to cancer, the wife who just lost her spouse or other family member to suicide. Or anyone who has lost a job, child, parent or received the diagnosis of cancer or some other disease.
I remember when my husband lost his job many years ago. We scrambled to make sure our kids had something to unwrap for Christmas but it was so sad. You feel miserable for your kids and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we made it through. I can’t fathom those who have it worse. My heart certainly breaks for those going through all the bad stuff in life and not feeling like you have any hope. The pain, I am sure, is immense. The loneliness, depression and worse.
Please know this. Christmas isn’t about perfect or even good. It’s not about the presents, food or even family. Christmas is about the birth of Baby Jesus. That’s it. So Simplify. Remind the family and the kids. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. If you can’t afford to do the neighborhood gift exchange, or give gifts to everyone in the extended family or even buy a lot for your kids, just don’t do it. It’s not a competition and you are not required to go broke for Baby Jesus’s sake. I promise you.
While it may be difficult for you for whatever reason, tell people what you need. Do you need time with just friends? Do you need a good friend to let you vent, cry, scream etc.? Tell someone what you need. Please.
Christmas doesn’t have to be “picture perfect”. Not even close. Remember the real reason for the season. And you know what? Post your “imperfect Christmas” pictures. The more real the better. I always do. My family celebrations are more like the Griswold’s than the Vanderbilt’s for sure. And I’m not even upset about it.
SO, here is a list of some things you can do during the holidays for free or really cheap. And could be picture fun too:
- Drive around neighborhoods and rate the best lights/decorations.
- Visit a mall Santa and get pictures with your spouse or bestie. It’s not just for kids!
- Go to a Christmas Eve service. There’s just something about a candle light service.
- Dollar store’s have great little nick knacks to give as gifts.
- Dollar movies showing Holiday films.
- Christmas music on the radio.
- Visit a retirement home and take little candies around to the residents.
- Help with a mission project for those who are in a worse situation than yourself.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. No matter what you are going through. Please remember that while it seems things are so bad, there are people to reach out too. They say that most crisis’s generally last only 14 days. And prayer does work!
Merry Christmas from Midlife Margaritas!
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255