You are not alone.
Naturally, we all feel different about the holidays as we grow older. When we were young, our world was filled with magic at every turn. Glistening snow with a perfect texture for snowman-building, The North Pole with elves feverishly working to build our toys. Playing in the basement with our cousins during family parties. Worry-free and filled with joy. Of course, not everyone experienced perfection as children, but the holidays were a time when we could all feel even a little magic regardless of our circumstances.
As we grow older, the magic starts to fade. Our family traditions have either withered or morphed. Some of our loved ones are no longer with us. Physical distance becomes a burden. The focus on magic has turned into the focus on reality—bills, loss, schedules, and more. We all feel it in one way or another.
You see, we all have something that makes us feel a little lost during the holidays. And whether that lost feeling is big or small, the holidays can be emotional. I’m just here to say that you’re not alone. If you’re missing a loved one this holiday season or feeling lonely, I hope you find some solace in time with friends and other family members. If you’re financially struggling, I hope you surround yourself with those that truly find your presence gift enough. If you’re unable to be with your family, I hope you build your own little winter wonderland and find some of the magic on your own. If you’re missing the family traditions of your past, I hope you make some new ones with your children or friends.
Host a holiday party, go on a neighborhood adventure looking for the best light display, craft some gifts until you’re blue in the face, snuggle your pets while drinking hot cocoa and watching your favorite holiday movie (even the cheesy ones), make a snow angel, build a snowman, or have an epic snowball fight.
Give back to charities (try this one, or this one, this one too), volunteer at a local soup kitchen, hang scarves near places with a large homeless population, pay for someone’s coffee, or leave little cards of holiday cheer with people you know could use a lift. The options are endless and giving back will make you feel better than you could imagine—even if it’s just your time.
We could all be more understanding, patient, and caring this time of year. So, please make sure you reach out to people you care about and let them know you’re thinking about them. You never know what someone may be feeling during the holidays and I promise you, they probably need it just as much as you do.