December 2018 Knowledge Newsletter


Dear Friends,

Holiday time can be a time of joy for many or a time of loneliness and stress for others.  How we experience this time of year is often dependent on our expectations and the stress we place upon ourselves.


The Holidays


In many families, there are traditions that are associated with the holidays. These can be upheld in memory of a loved one, who has passed or to provide continuation of tradition for the next generation.  While traditions are nice to have, sometimes they are difficult to maintain as many people do not have as much free time on their hands as they used to or are not as committed to keeping traditions alive.


Some people come to the holiday season with expectations that everything needs to be done just the way it always has been. Sometimes siblings or other family members may not share that person’s commitment to tradition, which can lead to conflict. If you are the person who wants to honor your family’s holiday traditions when others don’t, you may put a lot of stress on yourself trying to carry the extra load and feel your efforts are unappreciated.


Another stress many people experience is how much they should spend on Christmas gifts? While Christmas is time of giving, the cost of everything just keeps going up. Some may be trying to keep up with other family members, who many have more money to spend. Others may resent buying gifts for people you don’t care for but still feel obligated to buy them a present. And then there is the problem of what to buy them. A solution to these problems could be to collectively decide not to exchange gifts, to offer to give a service or do something for them instead of purchasing a gift or make something homemade. After all, the holidays are supposed to be about spending time with family and not getting stressed out buying gifts.


Another source of stress can be who will cook the turkey. In every family, some folks are better cooks than others, and if the person who offers to cook the turkey is not a good cook, how do you discourage them? If it is a tradition in your family that everyone contributes a dish to the dinner, who decides who will bring what. If members are told they should bring a particular dish and don’t want to or don’t have time to cook, this can cause conflict.


For family members, who travel to get to holiday gatherings, there is the additional stress of flying or driving to arrive at their destination.  Often, there can be poor road conditions or delays or airports shutting down because of frequent snow storms at that time of year. While visiting family can be wonderful, other times it may be stressful staying at a family member’s house for days. Problems can arise because people have different eating habits and routines, kids may act up because they are out of their regular environment, plus the usual disagreements that can arise when family members spend time are together.


The idea of spending time during the holidays with family members, who you haven’t seen for a while, can be a great opportunity to catch up or it can bring up old tensions and sibling rivalry that were never resolved.  Perhaps you have changed and trying to make others understand where you are in your life right now can be a problem. Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings or justifying the changes you have made. Spending time with people, with whom you may no longer feel close to for several days, can cause a lot of strain. Dealing with members, who drink too much or say inappropriate or insensitive statements, can also be a problem.    


In order to make your family gathering a pleasant one, do not to discuss politics or other topics that you know others disagree upon. Don’t bring up past conflicts or subjects that you know will cause arguments or provoke others. Be positive and complimentary to ensure having a good time. Should someone say something you don’t like, try to let it go rather than responding with anger or hurt. Perhaps they are trying to provoke you or are just insensitive. You can ask them to refrain from making further comments. Forgive that person for their lack of understanding and keep love in your heart. Don’t let others soil your holiday joy.    


For those people, who do not have family to celebrate the holidays with, this can be a time of loneliness and depression. The media always presents the Christmas holidays as a time of families gathering together, exchanging gifts and having a meal without ever mentioning that everything is not always a perfect as it appears on TV. So if you feel alone, have no place to go or no one to celebrate with, here are some suggestions to ward off the blues:


If you are observant, attend a church service. Perhaps your church or community has activities set up for the holidays and spending time with others can alievate that feeling of loneliness. Get together with one or more friends, who are also in your situation and have a drink or a meal together. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank so you can feel good helping others. Do something you enjoy, which you rarely find time to do. Go on vacation, if you can afford it. Take in a movie. Don’t think you are the only one who is alone and feeling miserable for the holidays, as this is untrue. Remember, Christmas only lasts one day.


If you have difficulty getting through the holidays, please feel free to contact me. I am available for personal, telephone or readings over Skype, relationship coaching at any time by clicking on or calling me at 505 474-6363 or 514 312-2451.


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May your life be filled with peace, love and abundance and showered with blessing throughout the year.


Sharon Cheney

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