November 24, 2012

Holidays Have No Pity

Holidays have no pity. ~Eugenio Montale

Some of us would rather face a month of Mondays than a single holiday. The worst are those, like Thanksgiving, that are supposed to deliver enough family warmth to carry us through the rest of the year. How shamed and resentful we feel when it seems that everyone else is going "over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house" while we're eating a baloney sandwich in front of the TV.

The fact is that many of us do not have loving, welcoming families. We don't want to go home for Thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with us. We aren't less worthy than people who come from healthier families. And it doesn't mean that we have no reason to give thanks, either. The baloney is of our own choosing; we could pop a little turkey into the oven if we wanted to. Invite a friend. Talk and laugh.

Depression over the holidays is understandable but not inevitable. Those who have the heart to celebrate will celebrate. They'll bow their heads in prayerful gratitude, mindful of the blessings they have received, rather than those they haven't. At the end of the day, they'll feel good because they chose to have a good day. We'll get what we choose, too.

How I handle the holidays is a test of emotional maturity.

H/T: Believing In Myself

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