Christmas With A Cause
Christmas is a time to relax, spend time with family, eat copious amounts of food, and remember the incredible gift of salvation that was freely given to us in that lowly manger in Bethlehem. While that is all well and good, I will be honest: I have had my share of forgettable Christmases over the years.
My analytical brain cannot help but wonder why. What are the commonalities in the memorable Christmases compared to the forgettable? Was it the people I spent time with? The presents? The egg nog?!
Interestingly enough, my work as a porn addiction recovery coach has afforded me some fascinating insights regarding the holiday season that have an important application for just about anyone.
According to one of the world’s largest porn websites, New Years Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day are the 4 least popular days of the year for porn consumption! Really let that one sink in.
This tells us that the natural elements of Christmas & New Year’s – family, friends, food, fun, free time – can be incredibly rewarding and enriching to the human soul, and a nourished soul is much less likely to engage in misbehaviour of any kind. It’s a wonderful reminder that when we truly embrace the spirit of this season with those we love, Christmas is deeply rewarding.
While the season is festive and celebratory for many, for others the season poses several challenges. It can be the reminder of lost loved ones who aren’t around the Christmas table, a gateway for family conflicts and tensions to rise, and a rude awakening to the incomplete goals and promises of the past year.
Let me use this moment to encourage you that the challenges of this season are opportunities for growth, healing, and connection. These moments may not be as comfortable as opening presents and eating turkey dinners, but they can add value and meaning to the season if they’re handled appropriately.
Whether your house has been decorated since November or you are dreading the Christmas season ahead, I leave you with one piece of advice that guarantees you will get the most out of this time: Be present.
The concept will look different for everyone, but we all know when our hearts are at peace and our minds are fully engaged. Make that state the norm this Christmas season.
Practically, here is what that might look like:
Resist the solo Netflix binges. Be wary of isolating. Put your phone away when you’re with friends or family. Take time to enjoy the moment. Give thanks. Don’t get so caught up in goals for the new year that you lose sight of the precious few days remaining in this one. Shed the criticism and complaining. Give yourself permission to feel. Be generous with your time and resources. And don’t back down from difficult conversations that might need to happen from time to time.
If you can put some of these practices to use in the next few weeks, I guarantee this Christmas will be one to remember. From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!