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Making Holidays Naturally Bright

If there is a silver lining in 2020, and I do actually think there are a few among the chaos that’s ensued, it would be that we can use this year to update some of our traditions for the holidays. Those age old traditions unique to our family that no one understands or enjoys but yet we do them every single year. Maybe they do add a bit of nostalgia to the holiday but in a year with so much turmoil I think it’s the perfect way to rethink our holidays with the general rule that if it doesn’t feel good don’t do it, don’t eat it, don’t put it out there, and don’t follow it.

It is good to have some traditions. They remind us of loved ones no longer with us, good memories and they seem to give some structure to our holidays. There’s nothing wrong with these traditions as they can create for us that sense of comforting home that we all occasionally need. However, most of us didn’t come from traditional families. Some have endured abuse, fighting, violence, hurtful gossip, excessive drinking and other really uncomfortable situations. These families too have traditions but they are ones that we feel obligated and burdened to follow.

They don’t fill our soul with the looking forward to seeing everyone kind of feelings.

Holidays are tough for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons but sometimes our own expectations and pressured obligations create even more stress during this time. We feel this big uncomfortable meal with family that fights all the time or pushes their political agenda on us that we don’t agree with just to say we spent time with them during the holidays. We did what is society accepted for the way holidays should be spent. I don’t know about you but being miserable seems anti-holiday. Being in unsafe situations or feeling on the verge of anger or tears is not much fun either.

So, with everything that has gone on in 2020 I think it’s time we also address these holidays. I don’t suggest using the virus as a get out of going card but that we actually use it as a launch to change this year and all the years that follow. We let go of these traditions and obligations that don’t fill us once and for all and stop feeling guilty about it. Wouldn’t that feel incredible? Let those jingle bells start ringing!

Our health, physically and emotionally are impacted by the stressful situations we put ourselves in. When we are being drained by these circumstances we are letting our immunity down and threatening our well-being. When we put ourselves in unsafe and abusive situations that multiples these effects to our health. It can take a long time to recover from these exposures. For example, walking by a perfume counter in the store may give us a temporary headache from the aromas. Those perfumes contain a lot of chemicals that interact with our cells weakening them. The headache is our body’s SOS call that we’re in a situation that is a threat to our health. The same happens with our emotional response system. Over time these exposures both physical and emotional weaken our ability to stay healthy and make it harder to recover.

When it comes to family that is a tough one because we can have very strong feelings of obligation, duty, standards and traditions that tell us we should love our family regardless of what they do. We can endure it because they are family and we’re supposed to love them. Yet this often means we put up with some very unpleasant and sometimes unsafe situations as a result. We let bad behavior and manners, lack of respect, and more go unchecked. We let it come around us like chemical perfume permeating our cells leaving us feeling bad with a headache and low energy. WHY? You’ve probably asked yourself that a million times. We all do and then we go through it again anyway giving ourselves the lame line that they are family an