Sunday Family Dinner – What does Christmas and this Holiday Season mean to you?

With all of the crazy things happening in this country and world from the increase in racist, hateful behavior to people being homeless and not having enough to eat to the government shutdown leaving thousands of employees without the certainty of their next pay check; it seems weird to even be thinking about the meaning of Christmas. But all of these things are the very reason that I have been finding myself pondering what Christmas means to me.

This time of the year has always been my favorite time of the year and Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Part of the reason is because my birthday is a month earlier and well, who isn’t excited about their birthday? Part of the reason is because there seems to be more warmth, more love, more friendship, and more charity in the air. People seem to be more kind, more patient, more understanding of one another, and more willing to help those in need. Part of the reason is also because everything seems to be more colorful and lit up, and there is usually a bunch of Christmas parties and celebrations. I really love the Christmas Holiday Season and everything it truly stands for and not what the advertisers and marketers want to convince us it stands for.

The main reason, I love this time of the year is because of the two people in the picture attached to this post, my maternal grandparents. You see, my maternal grandparents were married just a few days before Christmas and both loved the month of December and fully enjoyed celebrating Christmas. See, my grandparents were the epitome of a loving, Christian marriage and they absolutely loved their family. My grandparents enjoyed having their children and grandchildren around, and was filled with joy as we decorated the house and baked all of the sweet treats associated with the Christmas Holiday. Not only did my grandparents love their children and grandchildren but they absolutely loved one another and at the time of my grandfather’s passing was married for close to 60 years. Because of the love my grandparents actively showed to one another, I along with the rest of my family felt love as well. This love was especially felt during the month of December as we celebrated my grandparent’s anniversary and Christmas.

It wasn’t about gifts or decorations either. As Christians, my grandparents always made sure that we understood that the main reason for Christmas was to honor the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope that He brought into the world. So because of my grandparent’s anniversary and my belief in Jesus Christ, for me Christmas means a time of celebration with those you love honoring Christ and celebrating Him for the hope He brought into the world. Christmas is a time to reflect on the blessings from God over the past year and celebrate the love He gave to the world. Christmas also means that I think a lot about my grandparents and the love they taught their family to have for one another and the example they set for how to have a loving marriage.

As we prepare for Christmas on Tuesday, take some time to really think about what Christmas means to you and your family.

Although, Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I have wonderful memories of spending Christmas with my family, as a therapist I understand that Christmas can be a difficult time for many folk, especially those experiencing mental health issues. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas Holiday Season:

1. Take some time to reflect on what Christmas means to you and your family.

2. Take some time to just relax and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

3. If you are struggling with loss or emotional/mental health issues, seek professional help from a licensed counselor or therapist.

4. Be realistic about your budget and do not spend money you don’t have on gifts.

5. Have fun.

For more of my tips on surviving the holiday season, download my WednesdaysWithTheDoc podcast show on iTunes or Google Play music. If you need to speak with a professional about emotional/mental health issues, we are accepting new clients at Loudoun Counseling and Coaching located at 21155 Whitfield Place Suite 202 Sterling, VA. You can contact me directly at 855-573-4734.

Just as my grandparents did with their family, set your own family traditions for the Christmas Holiday that is filled with love and celebrating.

Wishing you a blessed Christmas,

Dr. Daphne

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