Trying to be Happy for the Holidays

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a picture of her son with a pained smile on his face during Christmas vacation.Merry. Heartwarming. Happy. This week I wanted to report something cheerful, to make up for my last post where people responded, “So sad” and “I cried buckets of tears.”

Having a good cry every now and then is healthy for us. Crying supposedly reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and removes toxins from the body. Personally, I love a good cry-fest, especially if it stems from someone else’s sorrow. Seeing sad movies and reading books that make me blubber uncontrollably are perfect for giving my compassion a workout. But it’s Christmas. And I’m trying to be happy today.

I promised friends I’d serve up something uplifting this time even though spouting out joy and raucous laughter is still beyond my capabilities. Instead, I decided to aim for serenity. And peacefulness.

So, on this quiet early morning I’m remembering the times, decades ago, when my father used to take me and my kids to a warm sunny place during the holiday week. I’m thinking of my little boy who sat smiling gratefully in the warmth of the tropical paradise we knew as Christmas back then. Actually, that smile is appearing more and more pained (as opposed to grateful), the more I look at this photo. But anyway, the boy has since grown to be a man merrily making his own way through holidays, and through life. This, to me, is Merry. Heartwarming. Happy. And even so, it still brings a tear or two. Of joy. Mostly.


What are you remembering during this holiday week?

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4 thoughts on “Trying to be Happy for the Holidays

  1. Monica Sword

    Serenity and peacefulness is the best I do most Christmases now. Yes there is some joy and some merry but it feels passionless as compared to “before.” I’m remembering the long pilgrimage to Mom’s home, the joy of wrapping gifts, the platters of special treats, and snuggling under heavy blankets. All the best to you this week, Robin.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Wishing you the best, Monica. And a “better” New Year. I, and many of my friends, are having a hard time with wishes for ‘Happy.’ Serenity and peacefulness sound about right though. Glad it’s over for now. Ready to move onward and looking forward to the light returning to these long gray days. Cheers!

  2. Lynne Taetzsch

    I don’t think it’s necessary to be happy on the holidays. I am always happiest when they are over. I don’t begrudge other people’s happiness at this time, but I keep a low profile and shoulder through.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I agree, Lynne. The holidays have become more a time for making myself comfortable, and maybe others comfortable. I don’t aim for happy so much as for pain-less. Low profile, for sure.


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