On the Joy of the Holidays, or Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

I was super psyched for the holidays. I love the decorations, activities, movies, and, of course, the presents. It is a season that I always associate with the hope that stems from new beginnings and the warmth of being with those you love, whether family or friends.

ZeroExpectationsUnfortunately, as I grow older I become more and more aware of the negativity that haunts this season, from the insecurities people experience because of the financial demands of gift-giving to the dread of dealing with difficult family members. For whatever reason, my stores of optimism were low this year, and it didn’t take much to sour me to the whole thing. The day after Christmas found me tearing down the tree, packing away the decorations, and cursing each and every real and fake pine needle scattered around my house.

sartreI couldn’t shake this feeling of disappointment. I tried to explain it away (and blame others), but it finally dawned on me that I was guilty of the same behaviors that I abhorred in others, including their complaining of each other during the holiday season. Person A complained or judged person B, then I complained about and/or judged Person A (and maybe Person B a bit), who may have had a speck in his/her eye as I was definitely carting around a big ol’ plank in my own.

So, next year I have two goals for the entire year, not just the holidays: 1. Love People and 2. Have zero expectations. I hope that December 24, 2015 finds me acting with a bit more grace, a lot more love, and experiencing and exemplifying the joy of the season.

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