By CJ Golden
I don’t know how it happened so quickly, but the holiday season is upon us once again. And while many families look forward to these days with joyous anticipation, for some this is a time of economic stress that causes anxiety and sadness.
If your family is one who has been hit hard by the economic downfall, you might see your parents scrambling to make a festive meal; money being too tight to purchase all of the requisite fixings. Your gift wish list might not be fulfilled and, while some of your friends will begin using their new Macs and iPads, you may very well be still waiting for the day when you, too, can have one.
Financial instability, however, is not the only problem that can create holiday stresses and tension. You might find yourself caught in the turmoil of a recent divorce and now have to decide which parent you want to spend the holiday with. Perhaps, also, a loved family member has passed away this year and there will be an empty seat at the table – one that would have been occupied by a favored aunt, uncle or grandparent. Or you and your family have had to move to a new town and you miss your friends – the ones you always hung out with at the school football games and parties.
While I dislike being a downer, these scenarios and others are very real in the lives of many teens. If you are one of them, how do you find “festive” in these situations?
You do so by adjusting your attitude about the holiday and what it means; you do so by finding those things that remain in your life for which you are truly thankful.
Okay, so a lavish meal and glorious desserts might not be on the menu, but whatever is there was prepared with love by your mom or dad. It is that love for which you can – and should be - thankful. How about the scenario where you divorced parents both want you to celebrate with them? Easy. Be grateful that you have two loving and caring parents. And what if a loved one is no longer with you? That’s when you do a shift in attitude and recognize how fortunate you were to have had him or her in your life. Think about her as you enjoy the meal and let her spirit into your heart and soul.
The way you view your blessings: being grateful for what you have and refusing to dwell on what you don’t will go a long way towards the way you view, and ultimately remember, this holiday season. Your holiday memories can be joyous or gloomy. Which would you rather it be? The choice is yours.
C.J. Golden, author of TAO OF THE DEFIANT WOMAN, and the award winning TAO-GIRLS RULE! is a motivational speaker who travels the country inspiring all with her dynamic spirit and vision.
Golden’s philosophy combines Taoism (acceptance of life’s transitions and challenges) with a dose of defiance (defying stereotypes and self-limiting behaviors).
An important voice in the field of women’s studies, Golden helps women, teen and pre-teen girls walk their unique paths with joy and vitality.