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Spending Christmas in a good, warm atmosphere is even imposed by the media and colorful advertisements. It is a beautiful idea, but it is not always possible to put it into practice. Usually, the first thought about Christmas is positive, but in many families, meeting this holiday can be a cause of anger or bad memories. Will the Christmas contact with your family this year be a prospect of joy or frustration?

The image of a happy family, eagerlyspendingwith each otherChristmas,longing for contacts, smiling - it's something exaggerated or that's what you get together we identify? Do we feel happy or sad in the smell of Christmas trees, baked cakes and floor polish? If it's the latter, maybe it's worth doing something about it?

In a religious family, carols are sung, and people go to church for Midnight Mass. In non-religious - Christmas and Christmas Eve are mainly social meetings, but they can also be an opportunity to experience things that we do not have every day or we have less and less: nice contact, conversation.

Christmas: do you have positive or negative memories?

Most people's expectations about family gatherings on the occasion of Christmas are positive.

They expect a nice time with their relatives. "Only some people have a negative or ambivalent attitude, either because of bad memories or something in the past that has disturbed their relationship with their family," says Dr. Sonia Geller, a psychologist and psychotherapist.

Christmas is not only a tradition

These holidays are celebrated religiously less and less often, reflecting on their message, experiencing spiritual depth in connection with them.

Some of us are offended by their superficial level, trivialization and commercialization, and the excess of incentives in the long pre-Christmas period, which is to induce us to make expensive purchases. For most, they are an occasion for celebration and gifts. And yet Christmas Eve, a gala dinner - in a word, meetings during the holiday season - due to the depth of the message preserved by tradition, can be a reason to reflect on family relationships, e.g. to initiate changes for the better.

Holidays can cause mixed feelings

Since every opportunity that gives you a chance to improve your relationship is good, it would be necessary before Christmasprepare the ground for it, make an attempt to renew broken ties, repair or deepen the existing ones.

You can, for example, forgive someone, although forgiving does not mean forgetting, but just remembering or trying to go over something that happened. When we dwell on past wrongs, we end up doing a second wrong to ourselves for years, perhaps much worse.

For many people, holidays can arouse an internal conflict of values: on the one hand, tradition, family and spiritual dimension, on the other hand, a sense of harm, resentment, anger or memories of scandalous events, alcohol incidents, violence, etc. This creates ambivalence. Faced with an internal conflict, which is certainly a source of suffering, these people can accept or decline to participate in the festivities. The balance of losses and gains may either induce them to enter this situation (especially since their conflict rarely concerns the whole family, rather one or two of its members), although it will not be comfortable, or on the contrary - to reject it.

The argument for "for" is that, apart from "troublesome" contact, they have a chance to meet people they like and love, with whom they are on good terms. The argument for deciding not to participate in Christmas meetings or limit your presence to the minimum necessary is concern for your own well-being.

Holidays: if not with family, then with whom?

If spending Christmas with our family makes us unpleasant, we can try to organize it in our own way - leave, invite lonely friends - but always remember about those people who are our support network, who could take our absence badly. Even aware that this absence is not because of them, they might feel unimportant, ignored.

Is it worth not to participate in the holidays at all due to a conflict with one person? - There are no ready-made recipes, each situation is psychologically different. I think it is important to reflect on what Christmas can do for me. Maybe they will not be what I dreamed of, with the atmosphere I would like, but on the overall balance, it is better for me to participate in them than to be alone. It also happens the other way round. We protect ourselves because we have an alcoholic father and of course he will get drunk and aggressive. This is a huge problem for me, so it would be better if I avoid this situation - advises Dr. Sonia Geller.

We are sometimes sick or depressed, and we fear nosy or sympathy from long-lost relatives. And again - there are no ready-made recipes. - If someone decides to participate in the holidays, he must take into account that things will go their own way, and at the same time he can count on sensitivity,tact and empathy of family members. And when she feels really bad, she can always go out.

I believe that it is worth taking the risk, but also taking care of yourself if there is anything, says the psychologist. So that the holidays, which are supposed to be upbuilding by nature, do not devastate us or hurt us. - If the family relations are cordial, then maybe the only obstacle to feeling good will be the outside world - falling from a professional mill into a completely different fairy tale - but this is a problem for a completely different story. I am warming up. I am not a religious person, but I like to organize Christmas Eve myself or spend it with my relatives just to warm up - admits Dr. Sonia Geller.

"Zdrowie" monthly

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