Christmas and the end of the year is often considered as a time where mirth is something that is encountered in abundance. We tend to feel a wave of positive emotions during this period of time, and often express our gratitude, love and happiness towards others by showering them with gifts, hosting social events, and trying to creative a positive atmosphere around us. Some of us may feel nostalgic and warm upon meeting distant family, whereas others may have less pleasant memories. In general, the notion that we often transpose our frame of mind onto our environments through our actions becomes quite literal during this time of the year.
In a country like India, what we usually refer to as the festive season comes around at pretty frequent intervals. Outside our context, this frequency of the season of mirth is quite different. Post Christmas and the New Year season, there is quite a large gap before the next time to celebrate comes around. In times like these, it is important to balance our emotions, and make sure that we don’t face a sudden degradation of the positive emotions we experience.
We often feel, or end up showing that positive emotions are to be expressed in magnified quantities only during this time of the year. Our overwhelmingly inclusive attitude towards other people often dies down after the end of the holiday season. We then go back to living and functioning at what we consider as the normative or ‘regular’ level. What we really need to ask ourselves is if this clear divide between the emotional palette of an individual living out the holidays, and the regular grind is something that has been created by human perception, or whether it is actually a phenomenon that is reasonable.
Is it true that the expression of emotions like love and gratitude in large amounts is only restricted to a year? An effort to exemplify these positive emotions through one’s daily lived experience is not something that makes for a lot of effort. In fact, if one tends to feel low in other parts of the year, it might be quite hard to keep the spirits at a higher momentum during the holiday season. If anything, expressing lovable and hospitable behavior throughout the year is something that might enhance the experience of personal interactions we engage in on a daily basis.
Keeping one’s daily routine (if you’re off from work, then do what you usually do on a day off) during the Christmas season is probably a good way to avoid a slump after it, and keep your emotions at a steady pace. When you start to digress completely from a routine you have set for yourself, it becomes harder to cope with returning to a schedule later, and often leads to a sense of disappointment or a lack of motivation to ‘get back to the grind’. However, when you’re able to have a balanced schedule during the holidays, it makes the aftermath less harsh.
It’s what we perceive about the holidays that makes us feel the ups and downs before and after them. When we think about the holidays like an oasis in the desert, as the only source of mirth, or the only way to appease our thirst to give love to our family and friends, it becomes something that we often depend on for our satisfaction. Looking at this period in a more balanced manner as a small detour from our regular routine to develop a stronger bond with family, and maintain this bond over the year is probably what will keep us happier.
This Christmas, remember that those that care for you don’t need to express it by showering gifts upon you, or eating a Christmas dinner with you. While these things are customary, and add to the sense of brotherhood and connectedness we feel with other people, they are not the sole indication of the undying love that runs through the veins and arteries of a family environment. They are only ways to express it through acts that are considered as culturally relevant.
When we share emotions in a family environment, the idea of a communal gathering is often wrongly linked with the holidays. However, the ability to express one’s emotions on a collective level and show affection is something we all have access to throughout the year. This is something that we must keep in mind every Holiday Season.