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Finding joy in the holidays

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By Joan Pomeroy

Special to The Ellis County Press

Here we are again at the most wonderful time of the year, where our thoughts turn to the celebrating of the Holidays, and rearranging our schedule. 

For some people it may not be the most wonderful time of the year, it just might be a tiring, hectic, depressing time of the year. I know that is how it once was for me.

It was late one night as I sat by the glow of the Christmas tree, waiting for my husband to come home; suddenly I realized I had it all wrong. The Holidays were never meant to be so depressing. 

For Christians it is the time of the year to join in on the special lights, gatherings, and giving gifts to love ones near and far and to prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Wow! 

When did I loose this concept? Likely by the time I was in tenth grade and my folks were involved in the big clothing drive for the Sioux Indians. How ever can I place the joy back in the Holiday Season?

First I removed as much stress as possible. That was much easier than the next step which was learning how to replace the old feelings and memories that saddened me when I heard certain Christmas Carols. 

Music has a rhythm for me that speaks to my soul, and brings back memories of days gone by. I learned to think about something I am doing at the exact time I realize I am getting depressed thinking about the past. 

One key to this is to say to my self “that was then this is now.” I strived to concentrate on the now by observing what is different around me at that very second, whether it is the decorations in my home or the people in the store.

Sometimes I have nothing else to occupy my mind and at that time is when I start to listen to the words of the Christmas Carols. Are you sure the words to the Christmas Carols are the same as when you were a child?

The third lesson I learned was the hardest for me; take time every day to do something for myself. 

This lesson I can relate to being a passenger on an air plane; just before the plane take to the airways, the stewardess gives a speech telling the passengers that if the air mask appear to first place the mask on your own face and then help any one else. 

Clear message if we take care of ourselves we are in a better position to help others.

I know miracles happen at Christmas time, but don’t expect these ideas to work immediately, but over time it has worked for me. 

When the carol “Sleigh Bells” plays I no longer feel the pain of sitting by my dying Mothers bed side or the pain of at 19 years of age facing the first Holiday season with out my Dad. Our past can be hard to deal with but I no longer let it rob me of the present.

Once again I look forward to the Holiday Season this year. 

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