Holiday Gatherings: Choosing a Meaningful Celebration

Holiday Gatherings: Choosing a Meaningful Celebration

The holiday season could be a touchy affair this year. Tensions are high, people are divided, and there’s a lot of uncertainty in the coming months. Some are still struggling to come to terms with their feelings, which is certainly understandable. They want time to process and heal. Everyone does so in their own way, and in many cases that means confiding in the people closest to us.

But I’ve seen folks saying that they want to avoid holiday gatherings this year. They want to prevent conflict and argument by steering clear of family and friends who think differently. Bitterness, animosity, and fear has made people retreat into their respective corners. The pain of confronting our differences eclipses our need for community.

The Holidays are About Togetherness

Honestly, it’s heartbreaking to see a time of togetherness and love become a source of anxiety. The spirit of the holidays, regardless of your personal beliefs, is demonstrating our gratitude and acknowledging our good fortune. By allowing our insecurities to dictate our actions, we miss an incredible opportunity to rediscover what truly matters. We should embrace that togetherness and focus on our common bonds, not our divisions.

This post started as recommendations for a more meaningful holiday. We could list all the reasons why consumerism and selfishness have run amok, but others have shared eloquent thoughts around that subject. Instead of giving you five “Minimalist Christmas” tips, we offer the following request.

Show Compassion and Gratitude

Be kind to everyone during the next two months. Regardless of what was said on Facebook or in person, we need each other more than ever. There is a lot of hate in the world right now, but there is also so much love. Don’t burn bridges. Create opportunities for reconciliation. In the long run, our relationships are more important than any disagreement.

Treat everyone with genuine compassion, not platitude. Lean on each other for support, and show that you truly care. Encourage one another to make thoughtful demonstrations of appreciation. Trinkets and gadgets won’t cut it this year. A donation in someone’s name, a heartfelt letter, or a good deed mean so much more.

Above all else, connect with your loved ones. Discuss your feelings and share your fears. Confide in each other. And then, promise to call or Skype more often. Take someone to coffee or lunch. Do yard work or home improvement projects. Go above and beyond to show your gratitude.  

The only way through these trying times is together. Let’s not give up on one another. This holiday season, come together with the people you cherish. Don’t push them away.

~ Ms. RW

Note: In the spirit of the season, contribute to causes that help your local community. Nothing fosters gratitude more than giving back. Check out this post for some ideas, or visit VolunteerMatch for opportunities in your area.

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