‘Tis the season to be jolly. Or is it?
The winter holidays are fast approaching, and while during this time, people should already be starting to make preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a lot of folks this time aren’t as excited about the season.
Who can blame them? After spending most of the year under lockdown, fearful for their health, and desperately trying to make ends meet despite the financial challenges brought about by COVID-19, people have grown tired and hopeless.
Christmas in April
When the coronavirus swept across the world earlier this year, most of us were caught off-guard and were forced to stay at home under strict government orders. Certain protocols were put in place for public health and safety, especially physical distancing. This caused many businesses and establishments to experience poor sales, which eventually led to numerous companies closing their doors permanently.
Lay-offs and furloughs happened left and right. People were sent home with no assurance of any job or financial security. And while the government’s C.A.R.E.S. Act helped a bit, especially the stimulus checks, it just wasn’t enough to sustain the country for the long haul.
People started getting anxious and depressed. For this reason, a lot of our fellowmen started putting up Christmas lights at home and decorated their house in festive themes to help them cope with the situation and bring a little cheer to their homes.
Santa even showed up in April to help spread some cheers and make kids of all ages smile. Many compassionate people stepped up and did their part to help make others’ living conditions better. Some served in senior assisted-living facilities. Others helped raise money for charities and organizations, while others helped produce PPE and other essentials for frontline health workers.
People started to look beyond their differences and set aside petty arguments with the realization that relationships are far more critical at this time than their pride.
The world became one tight-knit global village. People from all over the world came together, shared their resources, showed support for one another, and gave each other comfort and encouragement.
It was such a beautiful thing.
Paradigm Shift Needed
But COVID-19 still persisted and continued to wreak havoc. People became restless and frustrated. Now that the holidays are just around the corner, people no longer plan to celebrate as they normally would.
The physical limitations that the pandemic has brought is one factor. Most people no longer feel like celebrating the holidays apart from their loved ones.
Another factor is many are strapped for cash. Instead of splurging on holiday expenses, they’d rather divert the money where it can best serve them.
But that shouldn’t stop people from making the most out of this season. Thanksgiving and Christmas should never be just about gifts, food, and merrymaking. There’s more to it than just material things and comforts.
One way we can remain thankful and cheerful this holiday season despite the present circumstances is by changing the way we look at things. We need to break certain mindsets and replace them with better ones — healthier ones.
If we learn to take a step back and see our situations from afar, we’ll have a better glimpse of how blessed we still are despite what’s going on globally.
If you’re dreading the Christmas shopping this season, appreciate the fact that you have more than enough money to buy gifts for your loved ones while taking care of your needs at home. Not everyone is blessed financially at this time. Be thankful that you can still make ends meet and buy gifts.
If you’re down and depressed about not being able to go home to your family for the holidays and are bummed out that you can only celebrate it with them via Zoom, take a look around you. Many people have lost loved ones to the virus and will be spending the holidays grieving and mourning their loss. Be thankful that your loved ones are alive.
If you’re feeling sad about not having extra cash to celebrate this season because you only have enough to cover for your expenses, be thankful anyway. A lot of people are still struggling to find jobs to support their families.
Keeping things in perspective helps you realize how fortunate you still are. It is in learning how to be content with what you have to experience a different kind of inner peace and joy. The gratitude you feel will overflow and make you cheerful regardless of your circumstance and will rub off on people you come in contact with.
Spread more cheer and joy as you find contentment and satisfaction even in the little things. It’s just a matter of perspective.