by Hollis Wormsby, Jr.
Some Things to Think About as We Approach Another Holiday Season
We are about two weeks away from Thanksgiving, which for me marks the official beginning of the holiday season. As we approach another so called season of joy here are a few thoughts on social and family issues that tend to rear their head year after year and some ways to avoid them.
First of all while the holidays are a time of great joy for many, they are also a time of great stress for many as well. For people who are suffering from depression or whose lives may not be all they had dreamed they would, the stress of watching the joy so many others seem to be feeling can actually make those left out be even more mindful of how miserable their lives are. Oddly enough Christmas and Valentines’ Day, are two of the days on which the most suicides are committed. So if you know someone in your family who is struggling as we approach this holiday season, make an effort to reach out to them and let them know that someone really cares. You just might save a life.
Non-custodial parents, particularly non-participating fathers, have been known to take a lot of the fun out of Christmas. One of the biggest complaints I have heard over the years from struggling custodial parents, is that they spend all year struggling to provide for the child, or children’s basic needs with little or no help and now here comes dead beat dad on Christmas Eve with a car full of Walmart looking like Superman. Fellas, if you have not been on your job during the year, if you want to help with your child’s Christmas, do it through the child’s mother, so that you don’t show her up and then disappear again. Also don’t make promises you know you are not going to keep. In fact, if you have a history of being less than reliable don’t promise them anything, just hug them and tell them you love them. If you are going to do better, just do so, no need to make a speech.
Christmas is not the time to make things right. Christmas is Christmas. It is about celebrating the birth of Christ and spending some quality time with your family. One of the worst things you can do is show up on Christmas day wanting to resolve some lifetime issue, or some issue that has been festering all year. I personally feel strongly on this one. You can’t sit around all year and put nothing into whatever relationship you are in, and just make everything hunky-dory by showing up and showing out on Christmas. If you didn’t feel like making it right in October, don’t bother on December 25 either, because you will probably just be making someone’s Christmas worse. That goes for whether we are talking boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, parent/child or any other relationship.
We have to be mindful of our seniors during the holidays. We all have seniors in our families that are on diet restrictions and/or who tire easily. And we all can remember instances in our families where we lost an elderly loved one because they overindulged or got overly excited during the holidays. Make sure our elderly enjoy this holiday season but also be mindful that in the excitement they don’t completely forget special diets or special needs.
Pets are part of the holidays, and the holidays can be bad for them. If you share your space with pets, be mindful of decorations or other Christmas oddities that may do them harm. Be mindful of decorations that might be choking hazards, or packaging that they may be tempted to chew on, that may contain ingredients that are bad for the pet.
And finally and most importantly, Christmas is for the children. When I was a child the adults in my family did all they could to give us the best Christmases possible. I know that my mom never cared what she got, she only worried about doing as much for us as she could. I encourage us to do the same for this generation of kids. And by this I don’t just mean buying gifts, but I mean spending time, making them feel special and establishing some kinds of family traditions that they can remember when they are older.
The holidays should be the most magical time of the year, and with just a little consideration and forethought they can be.
Or at least that is the way I see it.
(Do you have a question or comment? Well you can reach out to me on Facebook at Facebook.com/HollisWormsby or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
by Hollis Wormsby, Jr.