When I was growing up I was a huge gift-giver. I spent hundreds of dollars on gifts, even as a child. I loved the look of excitement on my friends’ and family’s faces when they opened their gift and saw that it was exactly what they wanted.
Giving gifts has always been fun for me. Yet I still struggled every Christmas.
No one else in my family is a natural gift-giver, and it was always a bit depressing to receive such, in my opinion, thoughtless gifts, when I had put such care into selecting theirs.
For years, I harbored latent bitterness against my family, upset that what should have been the best holiday of the year for a natural gift-giver like me was instead made sour by their lack of caring.
Recently I’ve been realizing more and more how much of the problem actually rested with me, not them.
Sure, perhaps they put less thought into their gifts than I would have liked. But at the end of the day, my decision to be happy or unhappy lay solely with me.
There were plenty of other things about the holiday season I love that I could have focused on. Tasty breakfast casseroles and lazy morning snuggles on Christmas morning. Gingerbread houses and going to look at the lights. Christmas music. Decorating the tree.
Choosing to focus on the negative instead of the positive was solely my fault, not theirs.
For whatever reason, you may be dreading Christmas this year. You may be expecting lots of family drama. You may not have money to buy expensive gifts. Perhaps, like I was, you’re dreading the gifts you’ll receive more than the gifts you give.
You can focus on that if you want to. But I guarantee that you can find better things to think about if you choose to. Happiness might be based on circumstances, but joy is entirely independent of them.
Will you have a good Christmas this weekend? That’s entirely up to you. I sure hope you choose to enjoy the day!