“Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times.” Kate L. Bosher
A friend shared with me that “this time of year is always down for me and I have to try to keep my spirits up.” What is it about this time of year that can give you the blues? We create a whirlwind of activity planning, shopping, and decorating, only to come to an abrupt standstill that prompts you look around and say “is that it?”
In marketing they have a term called post purchase dissonance. Post purchase dissonance is that unpleasant feeling you get when you've just bought something and you question your decision. I’ve experienced it with practically all my major purchases. You research, plan, save and then make the big expenditure. After the purchase you evaluate your decision. You wonder if an alternative would have been better. The item you bought isn’t quite everything that you dreamed it would be. This is most likely to occur with “high-involvement purchases.” That is purchases involving high expenditure or personal risk (house, car) vs. “low-involvement purchases” like a soft drink or breakfast cereal. (Click here for more info.)
What is the point of all this marketing mumbo jumbo? When your purchasing with high involvement it is probable that you will have some dissonance. Now look at your “holiday hopes” and the bombardment of expectations shoved at us by the media. It’s no wonder we feel a little let down. Remember when you were a child, how S - L - O - W - L - Y time ticked from Halloween to Christmas? My childhood was filled with happy wonderful Christmas memories. I’ve had some great Christmases as an adult, and yet I’ve never been able to recreate that same excitement and thrill of the Christmases of my youth. All this rolls into a big ball of emotional “stuff” to deal with at Christmas.
What’s the solution? How about a Christmas moment? Scale the whole production down to one little moment on that day. A special moment you create just for yourself. I’ve been contemplating a brisk evening walk to admire the stars and Christmas lights, maybe I will write myself a birthday self portrait, I could paint, play with play dough, or go in my back yard, stretch out my arms and spin in circles. I haven’t decided there are so many things to choose. I have one rule for my moment: whatever I choose it must reflect joy. JOY! We have the opportunity to put joy in our Christmas. Today plan your joyful Christmas moment.
“Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside.” – Dr. Melba Colgrove