Sip 26: How Do You Handle Ups and Downs of Holiday Cheer?
Everyone knows holiday time can be one of mixed emotions. For anyone who has suffered a loss, the joy of this time of year can be mitigated by sadness that someone is missing from the festivities. The emotional range is different for each person.
Some feel the pressure to do the holiday "right/rite" with parties and gifts, and to be of good cheer, regardless of how they are feeling, amidst the crush of crowds everywhere. The challenge is to make sure the happiness and joy of the season prevail over the stress and tension that are part of it, as well. Adding to the stress is an assumption that it is wrong to feel down during a time of designated joy.
A Lesson from the Vineyard suggests otherwise. While the California Dairy Industry advertises that California produces great cheese from "happy cows", many grape growers will tell you that great wine does not tend to come from "happy grapes". Grapes that are "stressed", having less irrigation, or growing in rocky soil, on a hillside, yield more complex fruit resulting in better wine.
And, is that not often the case for people? As much as they yearn for quieter and more relaxing moments in their lives, they are not usually times of greatest growth, (although such moments are ripe for "AH HAs"). You learn more about yourself, and your capacities, when you see what you can do, or how you function, under pressure.
Of course, just as "stressed" grapes are handled with great care, as they are rendered into fine wine, so do people benefit in supporting one another, in times of stress.
Whatever pressures or anxieties you are under, at a designated time of giving, and sharing, and joy, you can lighten the load, by remembering you are not alone in your feelings and emotions. Whatever pushing and shoving you are caught up with in the cause of trying to do the holiday right, we are in "this" together.
You just have to remember to hold onto the best of intentions, in helping to make it a season of goodness and blessing.
Reflection Questions for Sippin'
What comes to mind of personal growth and success generated during a period of stress?
What factors are involved in your experiencing "ups" and "downs" at holiday time?
How could remembering growth's "partnership" with stress be of help when you are feeling stressed?