December is probably the most anticipated month of the year for me because it heralds my favourite holiday, CHRISTMAS – a celebration I was born to love, enjoy and observe like a hallowed tradition. One that unites families, tightens bonds, increases affections, and is often capped with that feeling of needed rest after 12 months of work, school, or service.
Christmas 2018 was a memorable one, I hopped from one event to another eagerly taking in the twinkling lights and joy-filled music. I particularly love the Christmas lights, decorations, fuzzy weather, excitement, discount frenzy, and beauty of the holidays. Read more about my Christmas Tradition here.
Last Christmas was gloomy as we were grieving the death of a loved one. Christmas and year-end for some people do not feel great, especially when it does not come with that familiar feeling of anticipated fun, rest, and joy. Yes, there are Decembers when one is beset with feelings of failure because you do not feel quite accomplished, and you are desperate for a new year. Wisdom and maturity have taught me to savour the joys of each season.
Christmas in the year 2020 feels different. It does not feel like that favourite holiday I always dream about, talk about, and plan for. The decorations on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria are sparse further accentuating the gloom. “It doesn’t feel like Christmas” is the unspoken thoughts that permeate the atmosphere.
Some of my friends are still mourning the loss of a loved one, with some of the burial rites happening in a few days! How do I wish them a merry Christmas amidst their hurting hearts?
A few others are nursing their health after being hit by Covid-19 while many others are still struggling to survive a job loss, crash in business, loss of customers, and income.
In many countries, devaluation, scarcity, price hikes of goods, labour strikes, etc. are on the rise; the bad news seems to fill every space, the fear of the unknown looms over our heads like dark clouds.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas!
For many families, this Christmas will be the first of many they will spend without their loved ones. Only memories will sustain them or deepen their grief.
For others, it will be the first spent in Isolation, as they struggle to stay healthy and sane. This Christmas may be devoid of memorable gatherings, destination holidays, shopping frenzy and the hype of the season.
How can I have a Christmas when it does not feel like Christmas is the question on my mind.
If you feel anything like what I am feeling, here are some thoughts from Gary Burnison that I found encouraging.
“Three gifts of the season. This year, when our holidays feel completely upended, we can still reap the blessings of three key gifts.
The first is connectivity—authentic and heart-to-heart, even if we cannot physically be with others. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of feeling connected to others—with gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t belong to anyone’s culture, tradition, or philosophy—it runs through them all.
Second, adaptability, which helps us look beyond what used to be normal and accept that this is normal!
Third, receptivity, knowing that our hearts must be open to receive, as well as to give. …
Whatever we celebrate, however, we celebrate, let us remember why we celebrate. When we connect our hearts with others, we spark hope, we kindle joy, we become the light. And when we pick up a pen to write a holiday card if we don’t know what to say, three words will do: I love you. Indeed, that should be our hallmark for 2020.”
Do you want to have an intentional Christmas? get some ideas here
Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry and writes beautifully on Leadership and Teams.
Read about him here.
Image Credit – ira-ostafiichuk/unsplash