• TDS Moderators: mafioso | mal3volent | Xorkoth

Extra Support for the Holidays vs the Frenzy of Consumermas is Upon Us!

herbavore

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HoHoHo and Happy everything including Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza and Solstice! This time of year is stressful for many people. The marketing of happiness through things is amped up to meth-binge proportions and the promise of feeling loved through receiving stuff is rammed down our throats everywhere we turn.

It's possible to turn all this around and enjoy the true parts of celebration. I'm not Christian but I love the teachings of Jesus. They are really the same teachings as Buddha and anyone else that advocated for Compassion being the root of being. I also love all the seasonal solstice celebrations--everything from candlelight in the darkest time of the year to bringing in greens that scent the house so wonderfully. I like to make things and this time of year lends itself to that.

So what do you like to do? What are traditions you would like to leave to the past (never meant anything to you) and what are the traditions you love? Have you stayed with your family's traditions or created your own? If you have to participate in a family function tis stressful, what are your strategies for making it better?

If you are alone and this time of year makes you feel very lonely I have a suggestion. Every community has a meal for the homeless or those in poverty. They always need volunteers to cook, serve and especially clean up. On the years when I could not stomach "celebrating" (mainly after my son died) I did this and it felt really good. I was with lots of great people, I was doing something for people that really appreciated it and it ended up making the day feel very meaningful.

I hope this thread can be a source of support. Feel free to vent, but also feel free to explore ways to step outside of the marketing sickness and the dysfunctional family dynamics and reclaim what this season represented way back when before marketing had anything to do with it. You do not have to be Christian to celebrate compassion for the world.

So let's support each other here in TDS. <3
 

Mafioso

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I'm thinking about doing some volunteer work. I would like to help the homeless who are struggling, it has to be difficult this time of year.

Holidays are tough for me. My family usually gets together and has dinner. I'm a bit nervous about going for a few reasons. I haven't gone to a family function sober, if I went at all, for the better part of a decade. The last few years I've spent the holidays getting as wrecked as possible, which isn't something I want to continue. I feel obligated to go to the family function because I don't really have any other plans, but I just feel like I have a very different view of the world than a lot of my family. I really don't care to talk about what I was doing(drugs) and there isn't much to relate about the path I'm on now. The whole thing just seems uncomfortable to me... I'm really debating whether I should do volunteer work instead.
 

herbavore

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Doing the volunteer thing sounds like it will give you a good excuse not to go the family gathering and will feel meaningful to you at the same time. I was pretty depressed one year when I did it and man did it ever put my situation in perspective. I really believe that half of the stress comes from this sense of obligation in families.
 

Mafioso

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Doing the volunteer thing sounds like it will give you a good excuse not to go the family gathering and will feel meaningful to you at the same time. I was pretty depressed one year when I did it and man did it ever put my situation in perspective. I really believe that half of the stress comes from this sense of obligation in families.
What type of volunteer work did you do? I've volunteered for a meals on wheels type program before which was pretty eye opening. We brought meals to people who were disabled in one of the biggest ghettos in a major city close to me. The living conditions were unbelievable. Entire apartment buildings that smelled of feces, everything run down and in disrepair. A lot of the people were older, chronically ill and unable to leave their room.
 

herbavore

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Wow, that sounds like amerika!:(
I volunteered for a big turkey dinner that my community puts on for the Homeless especially, but anyone without money can come; they do it once on Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. Lots of local chefs contribute, grocery stores provide the food and volunteers set up, serve and clean up. I think a lot of communities have some type of thing like this going on. It's worth checking out. A lot of us volunteering admitted we were there to avoid our own emotions that would come up if we tried to do the family thing. There were many newly sober people among the volunteers. I was there because I could not face a holiday where all the focus is on a happy family and we were anything but a happy family at that time.
 

Mr Boris

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I worked for many years in nursing homes, psych hospitals and other places where societies unwanted were warehoused. The only time anybody gave a dam about these wonderful people was Christmas. We had so many cakes and cookies and carolers it was disgusting. Where is everyone during the rest of the year when these people sit alone day after day after day? All these people that think they are being wonderful by helping one day a year are doing nothing but stroking their own egos. Everybody feels so lovey dovey at Christmas and this is bull shit. Do you think the residents and patients don't see the hypocrisy? I never understood why people only "cared" at christmas.

People that are cold, lonely and hungry in December, are also cold, lonely and hungry the rest of the year.
 
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