When You’ve Lost That Christmas Spirit

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You know the feeling. That little jump in your tummy at a great light display, that sigh as you snuggle on the couch with a Hallmark movie, the sparkle over all the activities. That Christmas Spirit

What happens if you can’t find it?

Christmas spirit disappears for all kinds of reasons: loss, separation, betrayal, grief, health problems. But for whatever reason, this year you’re identifying more with the Grinch than Cindy Lou Who. 

It’s OK. I’m writing this because I’m pretty sure my heart is two sizes too small this year. I don’t want to fake it through Christmas for my children, but I’m taking little steps to gently nurture my inner child (who really does love everything about the holidays.) 

Walmart in October 

I know. I rolled my eyes and huffed too. But then I decided to just stroll through the garden center of my local Wal-Mart as they set up the Christmas shop. It was so low pressure. I didn’t have to know which strands of lights needed to be replaced. I didn’t need to make a decision on new wreaths. I didn’t need to coordinate wrapping paper and ribbons. 

I could just look. I listened to my three-year-old’s glee and the baby’s surprise and delight. And something warm stirred inside my frozen soul. Try just looking at holiday decor – you know Hobby Lobby has everything.

Trailers for Christmas Movies

Do you ever just spend an evening on YouTube watching trailers? If you don’t, give it a try. I saw a random ad on Facebook for a new Christmas movie that had all the elements – love story, humor, snow…again, I didn’t have to be ready to watch the whole thing. I could just sample it and think, “You know, I could watch that and feel Christmas-y.” 

Simplify Gifts

As families grow, so do the lists and the name drawings. I love giving gifts and thinking of something special…but if my heart isn’t in it, I start to not care if it’s an Amazon gift card or a handmade heirloom. And I don’t want to give like that. 

This year, we narrowed down the list of names we were drawing and used a website to keep track. There are various ones like Draw Names and Sneaky Santa to make this easier, whether it’s with family or coworkers.  

Front-Loading

What do you need to feel comfortable in a gathering with extended family? What routines do you or your children need to keep in place to feel good? Do you need to schedule enough sleep? An extra counseling session – or do you need to be brave and go start therapy? Do you need to have a discussion with someone now in order to avoid a conflict under the tree? 

Looking ahead and making a plan, especially with my spouse, relieves a lot of the anxiety that I suspect is submarining my holiday mood.  

Pick A Christmas Activity For You

Sometimes I just need one thing to look forward to. Decide what you really wanna do during the holidays. Is it a concert, a movie, a date night? I want an overnight girls’ night with my childhood bestie before the end of the year! Having something special on the calendar for me helps this Enneagram 2 feel much more joyful about going all out on everyone else’s Christmas experience. 

If my Christmas spirit doesn’t fully come back this year, that’s OK too. It’s a year to give ourselves some grace, along with that Christmas fudge.

Are you struggling with holiday spirit? You’re not alone! Get support from our neighborhood groups – they’re full of marvelous moms who are just trying to make it a magical holiday too.