Finding Real Joy This Christmas

Source Link: Retreat Center Arizon

By Laura Parrot Perry

Note: The following post originally appeared on the blog In Others’ Words. The author, Laura Parrott Perry, is a mother, an art teacher, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and an advocate for fellow survivors. It is reposted here with her permission.
Rio Retreat Center.jpg

We careen through a season built for stillness and reverence.

We have a tendency to judge those people who manage eschew the madness. I mean, most good holiday movies have a character like that, right? We tend to chalk it up to being a grouch, or miserly, or having lost the meaning of Christmas.

I don’t know… I’ve always had a soft spot for His Grinchiness. I do love a curmudgeon. I think in many ways, the Green One was onto something. Listen closely to what he says- he’s not ranting about Christmas at all. He expresses dismay over “packages, boxes, and bags” and extravagant feasts. He rails against the “noise, noise, noise, noise.” None of that is Christmas. All of that is hustle.

Tis the season, all right. The season of HUSTLE.

These few months are when I hear more, “I have to” and “I need to” about things that are completely voluntary than any other time of year. This time of year, when we could be focused on faith and family, miracles and peace, we engage in the Hardship Olympics like it’s our job. Like it’s our calling. Like it’s the point.

I really began thinking about this a few weeks ago, in the lead up to Thanksgiving. This season is a particularly challenging time for survivors of childhood trauma. So much of our abuse happens within the family, and holidays often mean going home to the scene of the crime. Literally.

You’re going to have the holiday you choose, one way or another. You can keep hustling. That’s an option. Or you can slow down. You can say no to hustle in order to say yes to joy. You can move through this season with intention and wonder. You can come out of the season filled up rather than running on empty. You really can.


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