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Srebak 12-20-2011 01:29 AM

What to do?
I'll be frank and try to explain this as best as i can.

Every Christmas for as long as i've been old enough to actually care, i've tried to watch Holiday specials by the dozens (even holidays i don't even celebrate; Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) in my attempts to get into the holiday spirit. I once even made a "memoir" of sorts reflecting all i've done around this time over the years. But in recent years, whenever i try to watch something related to the holidays, i either open an old wound when i think back to a particularly damaging moment in my past around this time of year or my mind just wanders to something else and my imagination runs wild and remakes certain shows i've watched in ways that seem wrong and unsettling to me. But the worst part is, it's taken me nearly 7 days to watch the list of specials i made and the DVDs i have to get into the holiday spirit and with Christmas Eve only 4 days away, i don't have time to watch them all again, maybe some, but that's not the point. What's wrong with me? I'm losing it! The same thing happened with Halloween too.

Jeff Westover 12-20-2011 01:40 AM

If you have to watch something to get into the Christmas spirit, you're doing it wrong. Christmas is not a spectator sport. It is something you do.

Forget about yourself and go out and lift someone's spirits. You'll find your Christmas spirit sure enough.

George Broderick, Jr. 12-20-2011 07:40 AM

This is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown...

Srebak 12-20-2011 01:50 PM

I know what christmas is about; Giving, goodwill and joy, and those are just the basics. But my problem is that when i try to watch specials that help emphasis all that, my brain does almost everything it can to distract me and that makes me feel like i'm losing my mind. What do i do?

LightningFlashJack 12-20-2011 02:52 PM

I know what you mean, Srebak. It's like trying to make yourself fall asleep by thinking about it. The more you try, the less likely it is to happen.

It's hard to figure out why your mind is doing what it's doing through 2 forum posts (Welcome, by the way!) but maybe you're feeling the pressure that often comes from the season? (Am I ready? Did I do enough? I feel bad because I couldn't get everything? etc) Who knows???

What I suggest is to let the past be the past. Hard to do but over time, you can train your mind to do just that. I promise.

I've done some crappy things in my past and I sometimes think back to those times...and I start feeling bad. But then I realize that it was those experiences that made me the person I am today; far from perfect but better than I was back then. Just understand that those damaging moments from the past are there in part to teach you something and to make you stronger. Nowadays, I try and make up for those events by helping others who are going through the same thing.

Again, I don't know your specific situation but maybe Jeff's response (although a bit preachy. HA!) isn't such a bad one. Forget about yourself (even though you don't feel Christmas-y) and try and make Christmas better for someone else. I once faked a Christmas-y attitude to try and lift the spirits of those around me back in my homeless days. Once others started getting in the spirit, I found I started to, as well.

Don't mean to rant. I feel for you, for certain! If there's anything I can do (that doesn't include mailing you a kidney or a box of kittens), please let me know!

Merry Christmas to you whatever happens! :)

RadioJonD 12-20-2011 03:11 PM

Along the same line as Jeff, don't force Christmas. Let Christmas come to you!

Sometime I think we ruin our own Christmas by thinking we have to have everything in apple pie order year after year. Once I figured out I didn’t HAVE to listen & record every Christmas radio show I could find on the radio and over the internet, I chilled out a lot!

Srebak 12-07-2012 01:37 PM

It's the holiday season again, and just like last year, i'm trying to get into the spirit by watching Holiday specials.

This year, i tried to start early, i even put up the Christmas tree and most of the decorations before Dec. 1st. However, for the last 7 days, i have been watching Holiday specials, and just like last year, my attempts to make them sink into my brain are thwarted by my active imagination running wild. I even have to deal with some old wounds as i inadvertently remember some bad things in my past. All of this is still happening even while i'm typing all of this. It's as if my brain is going out of its way to block out any attempts to enjoy the holidays.

And if that wasn't bad enough, just like with Thanksgiving, my attempts to think about the main things that Christmas is about: kindness to those around you, generosity, wishes and hope, are always thwarted by thoughts brought up by the following phrase: Real world, Real life, reality and Fairy Tales.

For example, whenever i think about someone showing kindness and generosity or just being hopeful and wishful, i'm haunted by past shows and movies that would point out that that's not how the world works, and somehow that just haunts me to no end.

made582 12-07-2012 06:22 PM

Well I guess the answer would be not to watch them then. Instead get out and volunteer. Find a food pantry near by or a soup kitchen and go help out. Maybe volunteer to be a bell ringer with the salvation army. Try to find a group that collects gifts for families that need help and see if they could use the help. Sure there is a lot of bad in this world but there is also a lot of good. You just have to look a little harder for it because good news doesn't sell newspapers or make people turn on the tv.

reindeerelf 12-08-2012 07:46 AM

Try not to focus on how the world is. Take a cue from John Lennon and imagine how the world could be.

Maybe you will find the following lines by Paul O'Neil helpful.

Christmas time
And the moments just beginning
From last night
When we'd wished upon a star

If our kindness
This day is just pretending
If we pretend long enough
Never giving up
It just might be who we are

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