Hissy Fit - December 2023 - Stink, Stank, Stunk: Is Not the Solution
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
December 2023 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Do the words “Bah, Humbug” run through your brain at this time of year?
Or maybe you begin conjugating the word “stink” just like the Grinch –stink, stank, stunk.
With all of the pressure to make the holidays “just perfect”, it’s no wonder we have a tendency
to be stressed during this time of year. What are the factors that cause all the tension?
If we can identify them, then we can combat them. Here are a few I thought of:
We are living in rough times right now and our horns of plenty may be approaching the empty mark. It’s okay. It’s not the “stuff” that people remember in the years to come. It’s the fond memories of spending time with each other, the stories that are told and the laughter that is shared. If you’re running low on money this year, consider giving of yourself. There is always a multitude of gifts waiting in our hearts to share with others.
Are you one of those who breaks out in hives just thinking about a family gathering? It really doesn’t have to be this way. This year vow to focus on the good in each one of them. No matter how hard it is, give yourself the gift of seeing something good in the people you call family. I can tell you right now you are never going to change any of them, so you might as well change yourself by making the best of it. This just might lead to forgiveness or strengthening of a relationship. I know, there’s always one in every crowd that makes it so hard, maybe impossible, to see the good. That’s where compassion comes in. Realize this person for the buffoon they are, and instead of allowing them to anger you, have pity and rejoice. Rejoice that you’re not like them. Remember, people teach us how we want to be AND how we don’t want to be.
This one is really tough, but it doesn’t have to bring you down. Sometimes it’s easier to get bogged down in our problems instead of seeking out a solution. If you are alone, go to where people are. There are plenty of people right here in our community who are also lonely. Talk to your pastor, or any pastor, about using the fellowship hall for a Christmas gathering for those without family in the church or community. Take it upon yourself to plan and coordinate it. Visit a nursing home on Christmas day. Ask the nurses who will have no visitors and make it your job to take their loneliness away. Take gifts. Make new friends. Give from the heart. Another solution may be to volunteer at an animal rescue during the holidays. I’m sure many of the regular volunteers have family or travel obligations, but the animals still need caring for – even on Christmas Day. You may be a “God-send” to them. Lastly, bake pies for your neighbors and spend time delivering them. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the people around you. Just knowing there is someone close by you can reach out to can lift the isolation of loneliness.
Many of us, including myself, cannot get a grip on time, or the lack of it in a day. Why is it that some people can fit in a round of golf, bake a pound cake and still have time to enjoy a glass of wine, while I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off? It has to do with preparation and planning. At the beginning of each month, make a list of what you want to do and then schedule it on your calendar. Go ahead and call friends to set things up. This is a great way to not miss out on the important things that actually enhance our lives. This goes way beyond your “to-do” list, this is about planning and prioritizing what’s important to you. When we have direction and purpose, things get done and time does not fly by leaving you wondering where the day went.
What are some things that bring you discord during the holidays? Frustrated because I’ve been asking my children for Christmas lists since the beginning of October and only 10% have complied, I contemplated as I was trying to fall asleep one night: “What can I do to make the holidays really special this year and not feel empty and exhausted?” The solution came: Make it more about the real reason for the season. I don’t know what this looks like, yet, or entails, but I know it will change everything, which is exactly what I need, basically what we all need, considering today’s attitude climate. A positive, meaningful shift—now that is a true gift!
I am honored and humbled that you read and enjoy Pink Magazine. Thank you for allowing it to work in your life. My intention remains that it be a positive source that will in someway emPower, Inform, eNcourage, evoKe thought and move our world forward a little every day. Happy holidays to you and yours from me and mine even the non-compliant ones.