December marks the end of the year. During this time of year we start seeing holiday sales, decorations, and attend events such as contatas, plays, light shows, and parades. Some of us celebrate Christmas and New Years, while others of us celebrate Boxing Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or any number of other December holidays.
December can also be a month of stress. Stress during this month can come from many directions. It can come from gift buying, finances, changing weather, planning family gatherings, and attending gatherings. These are only a few. If you have lost a loved one, are an empty nester, recent retiree, or have any other life events to add to this, the stress can be overwhelming.
Also, as we get older it may be harder to be motivated to celebrate - anything. One year I didn't put up a single decoration for Christmas. This was highly unusual for me, but my kids were gone and it was just me and my husband. I had lost that spark that Christmas always brought to our home. For the first time, our children whom we planned the holidays for - were gone, on their own, planning for their own children. My parents were also gone and thus, no place to go for the holidays.
"I am the Master of my Fate;
I am the Captain of my Soul."
- Invictus by William E. Henley -
Since that undecorated Christmas holiday, I have turned completely around. Christmas is not just about my children anymore. It is about me and God, and so many other things. It is about the spirit of giving and the belief in new beginnings.
December is a month to review what we have accomplished during the last year, reassess our goals, take inventory of our needs that were met and ones that need to be met, and evalutaing our progress. It's a month of ends. A month to celebrate not only common holidays, but small personal events. Hopefully, but the end of the year, we have grown...mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and lovingly.
This is my challenge to you: Pick out three things from 2017 that you have done that you are proud of, happy about, or a goal you have met. Celebrate it. Celebrate it aside from the common holidays that we celebrate this month. Congratulate yourself, treat yourself, pat yourself on the back. These three things are things you should be proud of...you have grown - you have not stood still - you are not stagnate.
Enjoy every opportunity to be with friends and family. If you find yourself alone, don't wallow in self pity, isolation, or loneliness. Get out and find ways to enjoy the festivities of the month. Find opportunities to appreciate the beauty of this month.
Celebrate your past year no matter how small your accomplishments may seem or what you may have faced. Find the silver lining that is in every cloud. Focus on that, not the negatives.
Make this December one to Remember!
What are you going to do to make this a December to remember? What are you proud of that you accomplished in 2017? If you don't have family or friends nearby to celebrate with, what do you plan to do? Please share!