Society seems to have forgotten what Christmas is really about. It has become so materialistic and toxic that many people dread Christmas. I dreaded Christmas for years after Ty and Jacob died, I hated Christmas, I loathed Christmas. Once Bee was a bit older and appreciated or knew about Christmas, I started to find my love for it again but in a much different way.
There's a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift for people, usually a lot of people. Alcohol is stocked up on to make it through family gatherings. People become rude and irritable, often forgetting their manners or compassion. The dark of Winter sets in and so does SAD. People struggle to make it through the few weeks leading up to and the few days after Christmas. Mental breakdowns are had, tears are shed, fights are yelled, people are hurt, people feel let down all because society has put a pressure on Christmas to be perfect and about gifts and about spending time with loved ones.
The thing is, that's not what Christmas is about, Before Bee could understand the concept of Santa, I decided I wasn't going to go that route. After Ty and Jacob died my views on the world and life significantly changed. The most important thing to me was and still is, family and friends. But in that, it's also important to give to those with less. As sad as it is to say this, we all need a reminder to help those with less than us, to find compassion for those struggling, of which most are at no fault of their own. The lost or unguided souls who didn't have a support system like I did. I didn't want Christmas to be about greed for Bee or focus on being around toxic relationships just because, I wanted to instill kindness in her, all throughout the year not just at Christmas but Christmas would get it's own kindness.
I made the decision to teach Santa but in the sense that he represents St. Nick so I taught her about the real St. Nick and how he gave to the poor and helped those in need. Every year we have sponsored a local family at the shelter and it's one of our favourite things to do. Over the years we have started traditions to focus on the love and kindness aspect around Christmas. We have certain movies we watch every year, drinks we make, things we bake, little activities we do, I wanted to create a safe and loving family feel so she would never grow up feeling she had to drink her way through a family celebration because family was so toxic. I've always told her toxic is toxic and you do not need to be around anyone who makes you feel less than you are.
Bee still loved and still loves presents and that is an aspect of Christmas but it isn't our focus. I always tell Bee, we could have no presents under the tree but as long as her and I were together, baking something and watching a movie, that is truly the most magical present I could ask for and I do mean it. I've seen her grow over the years and start to see her looking forward to the family traditions I in stilled in her the last 6 years. Sure, she may still ask for an L.O.L. doll but even more than looking forward to that she wants to know when we are cutting down our tree or taking our Christmas light drive.
Having gone through all my trauma, I do view the world differently and I am often taken aback during the Christmas season to see so many sad, stressed, rude, inconsiderate people because they are trying so hard to make everything so perfect for everyone. I think we, as a society, need to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life, We don't need the latest or greatest toy, we don't need to be around toxic people, family or not. We need to take more walks in nature, connect with one another without the electronics. Go out and build a snowperson then come back in and make hot chocolate while you cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie.
Many people have mental health flare ups during the holiday because of the added stress. If you aren't confident enough to step back from toxic family, put plans in place to deal with it. Make sure to schedule in lots of self care. Try not to stress about the perfect present, the right people in your life will appreciate your thought and your time together. I know for a lot it's easier said then done but if we, as a small group of laid back Christmas lovers can move forward and teach love, kindness, compassion, hope, maybe just maybe we can get the real Christmas spirit back. I know others have religious views of Christmas and Christmas means something different to them and by all means, that's totally fine, this is just my view on the season and how I've seen so many struggle through it when it really should be a joyful and loving time of year but sadly it is not. Take care of you, surround yourself with healthy relationships, eat, drink and be merry and give time as a gift, give experience as a gift, find the joy you once had a as a child. Don't let Christmas become your biggest crisis.
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