There is hope. I have written about holiday blues for years but it ain’t so bad if you love what you already have.
In my teen group two girls were crying. Why? Because all they wanted for Christmas was the attention they never got. They never got presents. They never got seen by their families. Like really seen. Like I feel you. Like I’m here for you.
Feelings of neglect and abandonment can be subtle. Can be triggerred by the crappy little Christmas tree that is now gone. The glimmering ornaments you used to hang when there was excitement about you being new to this world. When those things are removed, and there’s nothing or no-one left in your corner, either through death, suicide, drug abuse, divorce or trauma, a loss remains forever.
I used to write about how Christmas is only a day, and Hanukkah is not a major holiday, so try not to get caught in the build up of expectations, the darkness and the materialism.
But now I see it as a bigger issue. The solstice brings light to what ails us. The missing moments. The truth is, we all have them. I miss my mother. You miss your brother. How can we rejoice when there is sorrow all around us. How can we make peace from war. How we we let go when taxes are licking at our backs?
For teens, the comfort must come from one’s potential. I said to the girls, You will do better. Parent better. Become who you are meant to be. Study hard because education is the best way out of the morass of repetition.
The golden light of winter gives way to the gleam of warmth. Everything is impermanent. Even angst and taxes. The best gift you can give your children this holiday season is time.