Monday, December 18, 2017

3 Tips for Christmas Plans

Don't you just hate that carol, "It's the most wonderful time of the year . . .?" They ought to synch it with "Killing Me Softly With His Song." Holidays are hard during grief.

But when we think ahead and prepare a little, Christmas won't be as bad as we fear. In fact, it can yield precious moments and priceless memories. Here are three tips that can help you prepare and deal with some of the sadness.

1. Give yourself something to look forward to
  • Take a trip out of town to visit relatives or friends.
  • Take a change from your usual Christmas decorating. Either do something different, leave all your decorations in storage and just put a poinsettia on the table, or skip it entirely. Don't worry about sending Christmas cards unless that's something you love.   
  • I don't think your husband should be excused from getting you a Christmas present. It's just that this year you get to make sure it's what you actually wanted. How about a bicyle, puppy, or learning a new hobby like knitting or music lessons?   
  • Make reservations at a restaurant that serves on the holiday. Or go to a movie to pass the rest of the afternoon or evening. My family is often far away on Christmas Day. The first time I went to a movie on Christmas I was surprised to find the theater was open and other people were there, too!
2. Give yourself an escape plan
  • You're at Aunt Minnie's and feel like you'll suffocate or explode? This will be easier if before you go, talk to Aunt Minnie and say something like, "If I disappear for a few minutes, please don't worry about me. I get these little grief storms and I might slip into the bedroom or take a little walk. I'll be back shortly and I'll be OK." If Aunt Minnie disagrees with you and says you have nothing to cry about, then you'll know maybe you shouldn't even go to her house. But chances are Aunt Minnie will be your bodyguard and valient defender if you let her in on the plan.
  • For other situations, like a restaurant, church, movie theater or shopping, you can just walk out. But you can also slip into the restroom first, and pray about what's best to do. If you then decide to leave that's fine, but at least you've thought about it and you're not just running away. You've given yourself the ability to make a choice and do what's best for you.
3.  Be your own best friend.
  • Take a look at yourself and ask, "What does this girlfriend need right now?" Then remember this: "My God shall supply all your needs . . ." Philippians 4:19, and set out to find what God has supplied.
  • Don't hesitate to call in the troops, ask for help, or invite yourself over to someone's home. Unbelievable as it might sound, people think you've got it all together and that you don't need them.
  • Cash in on all the "If there's anything I can do" offers you've received.
It's wise to see these days coming on the calendar. Try to prepare for them by giving yourself something to look forward to, keep in mind an escape plan, and be your own best friend. Your Heavenly Father has not abandoned you. He loves you and holds you close.

Please add a comment or email your idea for dealing with the holidays to encourage other widows.

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