Around this time of year, I begin hearing women who have recently separated or divorced state that they are dreading the holiday season. Sandy, states that the holidays are lonely, because she is used to the large gatherings with her prior husbands kin and has no family of her own. Amber is dreading the season, because her children will be with their father. Both of these women have feelings of doom and gloom when it comes to the holiday season. They anticipate sitting at home, all alone, crying all day long.
Going through a divorce brings up tons of emotions that seem to surge during the holidays. A point to remember, is that the more you tell yourself how sad and lonely you will be, the more likely it is to come true. It is possible for you to have a Fun and Fulfilling holiday season amidst the grieving of your divorce.
The first step is to let go of the ghost of Christmas past. They were fun and had a place in your life. Look closely at what you really enjoyed about this time of year. You could have enjoyed the laughter, companionship, music, food or decorations. You should also look at what you did not like. Maybe you didn’t like Aunt Ellen’s green bean casserole, or the fact that you had to put up with Cousin George. Maybe you felt like you had to play act. As you travel back in time, you will notice that there were many things you both enjoyed and disliked. You may even discover that your memory of the wonderful past, may be a bit distorted by only focusing on the good. You will also probably notice that even though many of the traditions were the same, that each holiday was uniquely different in its own way. Letting go, means that you have embraced the present and are not trying to recreate the past.
It’s time to focus on the ghost of Christmas present. By looking at what you liked and enjoyed in the past, you are now free to replicate everything that you enjoyed and do away with what you did not enjoy. The present is a time to create new traditions while you are keeping the vision of a happy and pleasant ghost of Christmas future. You don’t want to be like Scrooge and create a future where you are all alone and miserable. Take time to think about what you want your future holidays to be like, and determine what steps you can begin today in order to create them.
For instance, Sandy could choose to spend the holiday season with friends or volunteering at women’s shelter. Amber, could choose another day to celebrate with her children and make it fun and memorable for them. On the actual holiday, she could go and visit children at a hospital or choose to lounge around the house all day watching movies and sipping hot chocolate.
Yes, it is natural to be a little sad, simply because you are grieving the loss of your marriage. However, it does not mean that the holiday season is ruined or that you will be lucky to just survive the holiday season. Make It a magical time of year for yourself, by giving yourself permission to celebrate, create new traditions and thrive during the holiday season!