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5 Easy Ways to Be Merry this Christmas When You Don’t Feel Like It

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5 ways to be merry this Christmas when “Merry Christmas” is the last thing you want to say. 

5 Ways Merry Christmas

Bah-Humbug.

Five days ago, I felt like I was dying. My “bed” was in the closet by my bathroom. I was sleeping on the floor when I wasn’t actually in the bathroom. I couldn’t stand up. The sheer act of sitting up left me shaky and light-headed. It was terrible.

The next day wasn’t much better, but I was more coherent.

I lay in the closet and threw myself a pity party, in-between sleep. This is not how I imagined spending our Christmas season. I did not write “I would like a stomach bug” on my Christmas List.

This Christmas was going to be different. Every night before bed we were going to do Truth in the Tinsel activities and probably use their printable ornaments, but still. We were going to read through Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. Life was going to be quiet and reflective with fun trips to look at Christmas lights in our pajamas drinking hot chocolate, and get-togethers with friends in the mix.

And yet, at the end of November, the stomach bug of 2014 hit our house. It cycled through the three oldest kids and I thought it was gone. We went about life as usual. Then it hit again. This time taking more casualties, me included.

As I lay there, I thought about you.

Life is hard. It doesn’t usually go as planned. Sometimes there are HUGE roadblocks that blindside us and take us on journeys that we would never choose for ourselves. While some of those journeys are amazing with happy endings, others start out crappy and don’t get better. They are hard. They change you. You can’t ever go back to being the person you were before the trial.

But you have a choice. There are ways to be merry if we choose to see them.

5 Ways to Be Merry When You Don’t Feel Like It

1. Choose Joy.

Even if you don’t feel merry this time of year, choose to be joyful. Sit down and write down a list of things you are thankful for. Turn the paper over and keep writing. If you’re feeling crafty, decorate a jar and cut slips of paper to write down what you are thankful for. Over the next year, write at least one thing down each day. At the end of the year, pull out the jar and read what you wrote. You will be blessed.

2. Random Acts of Kindness

Donate new toys to your local children’s hospital. Provide dinner one night for the families at the local Ronald McDonald House. Pay for the person behind you in line for coffee or in the drive thru. Go to the layaway department and offer to pay off someone’s debt {Do they let you do that? It sounds like a great idea anyway.}. Pass out candy canes while walking through the store.

3. Sing Christmas Carols.

It doesn’t have to be Christmas Carols, sing whatever you want to. Life is more fun when you sing along to it like you live in a musical. If you’ve ever been in the store with us, you’ve probably heard the singing. Sometimes we get a little loud. It embarrasses my husband. Today it was “Just a Spoonful of Sugar” from this gem of as we were coming out of the bathroom at the craft store. The littlest boy was BELTING the lyrics. Do it.

4. Breathe.

Our journeys are all different. We all grieve in our own way. While our stories may be similar, they are never identical. That’s what makes them ours. Take time to stop the hustle and bustle and just breathe.

5. Give Grace.

Maybe you are feeling guilty for not doing everything that you had planned to do. Those Christmas Cards that you promised to send out last year are still waiting to be purchased this year. The get-together you had planned was canceled and rescheduled and canceled again. That rude person that cut in front of you in line. Give yourself grace and extend that grace to others.

While you may not be feeling quite so merry this Christmas, know that you are not alone. But don’t stop there. That would be too easy.

Go be merry in someone else’s Christmas.

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Michele Morin

Monday 19th of December 2016

Thanks for sharing this!

christa sterken

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

Amen sister! Words of wisdom, and so important for us to understand. It took me almost 2 decades to learn not to let the expectations ruin the reality.Bless you

Sweetie!

Thursday 25th of December 2014

Love these. My November had a gala pity party...rollling hills of poor me's as we are in renovations, my first Christmas without parents, grown children who couldn't come home...and then small steps at a time I began to celebrate my way out of it. Resetting the track to get up and celebrate getting spiffed up. Celebrate cooking and clean up by doing something special with the table each time. Celebrating the ability to share what we had decluttering 15 min every day...actions so release depression for me. Thanks for writing and Merry Christmas! Sweetie!

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