What Christmas Is Really About (hint: it’s not what you think)

The Christmas holiday is all about buying gifts for your friends and family, decorating your house with bells and flashing lights and listening to festive songs about melting snowmen and Santa clause coming back to town. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all of the above. I’m a Christmas maniac actually; my room is decorated since the beginning of November and my iPod’s been playing Christmas songs for a while. However, what most people tend to forget about during Christmas is, loving themselves. We get too caught up with preparing for Christmas and giving love to other people in the form of gifts and cards that we forget to care about ourselves.

We are people too and we need love as everybody else does. Yes, it is wonderful when people express their love toward us in the form of words or gifts but loving yourself is so much more powerful since it releases you from love neediness and dependency. I recently found myself getting a nasty flu that forced me to stay in bed for two days. I always believed that physical illness is the manifestation of negative thoughts and feelings and I seemed to have ignored this completely in the past month while I was struggling with unnecessary stresses, a very tight schedule, university assignments and other people’s problems. I was caught up in my busy life, neglected my feelings and desires and most importantly the satisfaction factor in what I was doing. Thankfully for me, my body couldn’t take this anymore and forced me to stay at home for a couple of days to recover.

That was when I realized I needed to put my own well being first. There is no such thing as sacrificing your desires for other people or agreeing to do something just because you feel indebted to someone. I’m not saying giving help is something bad, what I’m saying is helping yourself first, tending to your needs, desires and well-being first before going on and helping other people. For when we don’t love and cherish ourselves first then we’ve got nothing to give to people apart from constant complaints and negativity.

Putting yourself first involves learning to say “no” when you don’t feel drawn in doing something. Forcing yourself to do something when you get no personal satisfaction in doing so will lead you to a path of self-sacrificing resentment. When someone asks you for your help it is important that you take some time and decide whether you will enjoy doing so as well as whether you have the time for it. If you don’t enjoy it then refuse in a kind and loving way.  Most people put themselves up for unwanted business simply because they don’t know how to put people down in a loving way.

A more fun way to love and appreciate yourself is to start doing more of the things you enjoy the most. Many people spend most of their days tending to redundant commitments and fulfilling other people’s desires. It’s time to set others aside, stop worrying about saving the whole world and start caring about your own world. That means listening to the music you like, going out with your friends, relaxing at home, enjoying the foods you love, exercising (If it’s something you enjoy), pampering yourself with a day at the spa, making your own well-being your prime goal. Increase your “Fun” time and decrease your “Have to” time.

Yes, Christmas is all about reindeers, Christmas trees, dwarves and spending ridiculous amounts of money in creating that super-festive décor in your house, but it’s also about love and love always comes from within. If you don’t love yourself first, then you are most probably going to be dependent on other people to give you the love that should have already been there. Love yourself first, not just in words but in action too and then you are really going to enjoy Christmas to all its gayness.  Life is supposed to be fun. Enjoy it!

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