From the Parish Nurse
Are you one of those highly organized individuals who has the Christmas cards all ready to send out, has finished your shopping, and is ready to sit back and enjoy the Christmas season? Well, good for you, don’t bother reading this article. For the rest of us who generally feel like the world is ready to implode (or wish it would so we wouldn’t have to deal with the shopping, baking, cards, relatives and parties), this is for you to read.
I have poured through many articles, some religious and some not. One thing that stands out is that all the stress associated with Christmas seems to be manufactured by false expectations and a lot of smoozy marketing, which in the end takes us away from what Christmas is all about. Christmas is a religious holiday, a day to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus, and to give thanks and rejoice in that. It is a wonderful time to be with family and share our faith. That is truly all that is necessary, and we all know it. However, through the years, the celebrating and gift giving has become very commercialized and the expectation of it being “the most wonderful time of the year” falls very short for many people. Putting pressure on yourself to have to create “the most wonderful time” for everyone else is unrealistic.
I was looking at some articles on managing holiday stress. All the articles gave advice to not go overboard. Don’t overbook, don’t spend more than you should. If you are lonely, go volunteer to help someone in need, visit shut-ins, join a caroling group, send cards to others you know who are lonely or sick.
Many of us have lost loved ones this year, it most certainly will not be “most wonderful”. But, despite that, what is and always will be wonderful is the hope that Christmas brings. It means that we will all be together again someday in a different world with no pain, sorrow or suffering. It means that those who have gone to heaven are having a “most wonderful” time. There is nothing wrong with bringing up happy memories of and toasting those who are not present at the table.
I will have articles about tips to deal with managing holiday stress, getting organized, depression and seasonal affective disorder on the health table by the chapel.
I wish you and your families all of God’s blessings. Be joyous in the fact that our Savoir came to earth for you and yours, so you could have the hope of heaven!
Merry Christmas! Beth