Friday, December 2, 2016

A Holiday No

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, the anxiety levels seem to amp up. Or am I the only one feeling it? We’re inundated with Christmas spirit, family, obligations and all manner of “should’s.” Festive, isn’t it?

And it’s during this time, fear, guilt, regret and resentment come hurdling toward us. A running thought is whatever we do or don’t do, “it’s not good enough.”

Again, festive.

So, I’ve become quite aware of an important holiday word. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? No.

Not snow. Not ho, as in ho, ho, ho. No.

The holidays- let get real- are just too much. Too much food, too much lights, too much decoration, too much activities, too much expectations, too much stimulation, too much stuff. And it all demands we say “yes” to it.

And, in doing so, we are anything but merry.

So, this holiday, let’s give a different kind of gift- the gift of no. It, perhaps,, is not the most noble or fuzzy choice, but it’s still very much an acceptable one for each one of us.

We have limits, even concerning Christmas and everything surrounding it. God knows this already.

“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

Psalms 103:14

It’d probably be a great idea if we remembered the same.

We need to keep in mind the people pleasing thing running amuck, driving us into some kind of emotional, physical or spiritual ground. It’s okay. If no one has told you that already, please let me be the one to tell you now.

It’s okay. You have permission to say no. The world will not end.

I love the advice from NEDIC, advising eating disorder sufferers on how to navigate the stressful holiday season. Here are a few of their tips. I believe they work for us all:

Predict high stress times and places; decide which events you will and won't attend, and plan to have some time to yourself to restore yourself and take care of your own needs.

Predict which people might make you most uncomfortable and plan appropriate ways of excusing yourself from their company.

Predict negative thoughts that you might have during the holidays, and practice thinking differently.

Carry with you a list of phone numbers of friends and crisis lines, and a list of self-soothing activities.

It may be helpful to realize that the "picture-book" holiday sense is not a reality for many people. Some cannot afford it, there are many single people who are not close to their families or do not have a family, and there are many families that do not fit into the dominant cultural model of "family." Do not blame yourself for family or friendship conflicts. People are not different during the holidays than any other time of the year. Remember that you are responsible only for your own actions and for taking care of yourself.

For more info:top
NEDIC Bulletin: Vol. 7, Coping With the Holidays

“No” is not an ungodly word. It can, however, be a way to steward your temple, your life, taking care of a precious vessel God needs very much in this world.

Again, it’s okay. Say no if you need to.

And remember…

God bless, have a wonderful and guilt-free holiday season!

Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse








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