For some folks, it might be spending time with your children. For others, it could be watching old TV specials, or music, or making homemade gifts or putting up decorations, or looking forward to attending a parade or special events at church.
I think that our holiday spirit wanes away when we spend energy on things that bring us down, like bad news, bad health, or bad relationships. Or just bad vibes. It could even be the added stress of trying to please or impress people.
And as time goes on, I think the thought of losing people and things from happier times, along with thoughts of growing older with fewer and fewer loved ones also plays a part. That really takes a bite out me, personally.
Diminished happiness depletes the spirit any time of year, so at Christmas, it feels worse. One small but significant step to rediscovering some Christmas spirit is to get out from around other folks who skew your perspective, and at this time of year, especially reject those who are down on anything holiday-related.
Folks who are ready for Christmas to be over, or who are trying to rush out the old year are really not helpful to replenishing an empty soul. I don't think people actually notice how unhelpful it is to spout on so about how ready they are for 2014 to be over. I know, some of y'all don't care, but that's actually kind of irksome. Hide those jokers from your timeline until they cease with the drag-me-downs.
Sure. A lot of bad things happened in 2014. A lot of terrifically horrible things happened. There has been a lot of tragic loss. But a lot of pretty wonderful things happened, too.
Some people got married. Some got divorced. Some had babies. Some folks remodeled their kitchens when their kids left the nest. Some got great jobs or bought dream homes. Some reached major career milestones. Some folks went into remission. Somebody quit smoking or drinking or abusing drugs. Somebody left an abusive relationship. Somebody survived a deployment. Perspective.
Shucks. As it happens, 2010 was a particularly bad year for me. Two people very close to me died within a matter of months. My house was foreclosed, I lost Greenpiece, and went through the single most excruciatingly soul-sucking breakup of my life.
But one of my friends had her first child, when so-called experts said that she'd never bear children. I think it would've been pretty thoughtless of me to spit on an entire year, or month, or day of a year, as if bad stuff was the only stuff worth acknowledging.
I'm thinking that if you've got someone in your headspace who's been singing Auld Lang Syne since August, then it might not be a bad idea to cut that particular company loose, if you're trying to find or retain some Christmas spirit. If not, drop 'em anyway. You can cry in your own eggnog without their help. Or you can find something cheerful to spike it with. Something magical, even. And not necessarily of the 100 proof variety.
For many of us, times are such that if we want to keep the Christmas spirit, we have to fight for it. The struggle is real. My soul is a witness.
It's not difficult to find something wrong with any moment of any day of any month of any year. Be mindful of those who are resigned to being in a perpetual state of the moody blues, and either beat 'em or join 'em.