Whoa the holidays are hard.
I have lately come to wonder why the holidays are so anxiety ridden and full of stress and therefor full of overeating and for some over drinking. In thinking about this long and hard I have come to the conclusion, at least for me, of a few reasons the holidays are more difficult than the average days.
1. Expectations - we spend a lot of money and do a lot of prep and therefore we have a lot of high expectations that we will get some return on our investment. People (especially me) listen - never expect to get high return when investing in friends and family. Not because they are lechers and can't be trusted, but because you should give without expectation if you want to be truly happy. Those expectations creep in on you like a thief in the night and try to steal your joy from giving more than you receive and next thing you know BAM! You are mad again because "So-In-So" did you wrong and you just bought them a nice gift. Or you get so wrapped up (no pun intended) that you try to make everything perfect for everyone and since this is impossible - you get, yep - BAM - let down. Expectations often lead to some type of disillusion. So don't set yourself up to begin with. Don't do it - just don't do it.
2. Old Patterns - I have not been late to a family function in about 20 years but try to tell my family that and they won't believe you. I guess back when I had four children to round up I was late a couple of times. For some reason this (or things like this) get stuck in people's minds. The truth is, we change, we grow, we learn but for some reason some people go on autopilot during the holidays assuming all the old patterns still exist and the old rules still apply. Those old patterns are like, well old patterns. I can no longer wear the size 12 (youth) hippy pant suit with butterfly sleeves my mom sewed lovingly for me back in 8th grade (thank goodness) so that McCall's pattern can be given away or thrown away for all I care. Somehow, old patterns get reused at the holidays - they serve someone's purpose and make life easier for them - I think this is a lazy way to relate and therefore it causes - yep, poor relations - but hey - if you are the culprit that likes the old patterns and refuses to let them go - I guess you are in your element - have at it, huh? For me, I see them and I am ashamed to say I have used them but I can see how treating people with respect serves a better purpose...and fosters love instead of stress.
3. Seven Deadly Sins minus one. I think the Seven deadlies minus one are a major hang up at the holidays. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't really think so.... If you subtract Lust, and God love you, I hope that is not one of your issues when dealing with family and friends at the holidays, if it is please seek professional help. That should not be. But the seven deadly sins minus lust show up at just about every holiday gathering in some degree. Below is the whole of my research, see if any sound familiar...
What are the seven deadly sins?” The seven deadly sins viewed by society and literature are:
Lust – to have an intense desire or need
Gluttony – excess in eating and drinking
Greed - excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness
Laziness – disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic
Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation
Envy – painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
Pride - quality or state of being proud – inordinate self esteem
Whew, I'm worn out just reading those. Anyway - all this to say; The holidays are wonderful until that moment when they are not. I am learning to isolate those rare moments when something unloving spills out of one of us very human beings and just see it for what it is. If you enjoyed your holiday tremendously but found yourself wishing at least a few things could have been different, you are not alone. There are more alcoholics that return to drinking during the holidays than any other time of the year and there are more people trying to lose weight that fall off that wagon (especially if Mama's a good cook) and there are more suicides.
Its okay though, it's over!!!! Back on track, back to the real life with its fresh patterns and no room for deadly sins as a whole. Life is not this pristine, innocent world all wrapped us for to enjoy. It is a challenge and it gets ugly, down right vicious some days but hey - that's life. Break it down or throw it away, but don't dwell on it all. We don't have to live in the land of deadly sins or even the short list of holiday busters. Find your path, it's right where you left it and it doesn't have to include any negatives, sins, patterns or expectations. Be kind to you first, then you will feel like being kind to others!!
That's all - Thanks y'all!!!!