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Tears in the Festive Season

During the festive season many people find themselves in emotional lows, to the point of contemplating suicide at times.

When we think of festive seasons we remember our childhood holidays and Christmas / New Year Celebrations - in which there are numerous family traditions. My sister and I love to buy and cook from Woolworths, congratulating ourselves on sidestepping some weeks of planning, bickering, days of cooking with lots of cleaning up! For some of you - all that planning and cooking is part of the fun. People have different ideas of when and how to give / receive gifts, where to spend some holiday time, etc. Much of this are influenced by our childhood memories and earlier experiences.

For some of us - Christmas reminds us of difficult times, or of people / relationships lost and times when a family was close - and we find things changed. New Year reminds us of many New Year resolutions, plans and dreams that didn't pan out quite as we expected. Some are satisfied with where the year has brought them - and spend some time reflecting, adjusting and planning on those foundations. Others may need time to grieve losses, rethink and replan. This is not always easy to do on our own and is where counselling can come in handy.

Have you started any new traditions in your current home? For me it's Woolworths on Christmas or joining those friends who are closer than family. I also enjoy going back in my journals and look at what I've achieved / how far I've come in this year. Some years this is more satisfying than those tearful ones. A friend introduced me to the idea of having a picnic and spend a few hours praying and journalling (including some fun brain storming!) to set goals for the next year, and realign myself with my future plans (over 5-10 years), etc. If married - do this with your spouse! Setting personal and mutual goals strengthens a marriage. Even children can be included in various ways. They may for instance enjoy drawing pictures / making collages of dreams they may have for the following year. This can be discussed in terms of what can be planned for, dreamed about or put on the shelf.

Remember that one is tired after a year of deadlines! Whether you are going away or not - what plans have you made to rest? Give yourself some grace when you are one of those struggling with loneliness, sadness and loss over this time - and rather speak to someone than allow the emotions to draw you in deeper and deeper.

I pray that you will know God's love in this season. (Yes I know - it's hard for some of us to believe that He loves us.. come and chat about it..)


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