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Healing Christmas Rifts

Most of us dream of a Christmas filled with peace and love. You might be hoping that the magic of the season might make any problems disappear and pour the balm of goodwill over everything. But sometimes despite all your efforts the celebrations can be fraught with tension and you may even have found that troubles have worsened. If that happens we’ve got some advice to help heal the rifts.
Here we look at:
  • Being aware of what happened
  • Asking yourself about realism
  • Forgiveness
  • Talking about it
  • Moving on




As with so many situations, self awareness can be such a help. Ask yourself what you really wanted, what has made you unhappy and why it feels so bad. Sometimes things are not quite what they seem. For instance you may feel miffed that your dear one did not get you the present you wanted or behave in the way you wished, and you may be quite justified in being resentful. But maybe what’s really upsetting you is not being taken seriously, or being loved enough, and that may be an ongoing issue.
Of course, there may also be experiences from childhood that colour your expectations in some way, possibly causing you to get things out of proportion.
Maybe others didn’t treat the celebrations in the way you think suitable. For instance they may have stayed out too long, fallen asleep and snored loudly or had too much to drink and been a nuisance. If that’s left you in a mood, ask yourself why they behaved that way.
Did others share your view of Christmas? Or could they have found it boring, awkward and even false? It could be a good idea to find out what those close to you like or don’t like. This will make it easier to forgive them, and something to note in your diary and remember next year.


If you love Christmas you might hope that the enchantment will rub off on everyone and people who are often grumpy and uncooperative will change. Surely anyone who says ‘Bah! Humbug!’ doesn’t really mean it?
Sadly the truth of the matter is there are those who hate Christmas and find the whole thing a bind. Could they possibly have a point? If you’ve been expecting others to change and fit in with your image then you have set yourself up for disillusionment so take it on the chin and find your magic elsewhere.


One of the Christmas themes is forgiveness. Of course it can be really hard to forgive when you’re feeling angry and upset, but you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour if you can
Forgiveness is a wonderful gift of freedom that you give to yourself, where you let go of the hurt and resentment you’re carrying. It isn’t about ‘giving in’ to the other party, or admitting they were ‘right’. It’s about putting yourself first and moving into a place of peace.
It can help to forgive if you go out by yourself, somewhere peaceful and just let the beauties of Nature heal you. Everything around you has been going on for millions of years, all the rhythms of life, unchanging, soothing, reassuring. If you can find a stream, look at the running water and tune in to its freedom. Pick up a twig, hold it between your palms and pour your resentment into it. Throw the twig into the water and watch the cleansing waters take it far away, into the ocean, to be dissolved.


Can you possibly discuss what went wrong? If your loved ones are receptive, why not have a calm meeting to air the issues and try to sort them. Make a pact with the following:
  • Everyone says how they feel, and why
  • No-one accuses anyone of anything, or criticizes. You all state simply the events as you saw them
  • Each person promises not to raise their voice or interrupt
  • Each person says something constructive or appreciative
  • Everyone commits to trying to find a way to make things up
Take notes of what happens and keep to your commitments.  You could reach understanding – and have more fun!


If Christmas has been disappointing you don’t need to carry that on, into New Year. As you take down the decorations you may feel sad that things weren’t quite right, but Christmas isn’t everything and there are other ways to be happy.
Make plans to enjoy something else, together in the New Year. Probably with tensions lifted and issues brought to the fore, you have a better chance of a good time.
Having something to look forward to can be a great bonding factor, and it will take your mind off what went wrong. Hopefully if you’ve discussed things thoroughly you will now be wiser and stronger and can be much more constructive about relationships generally.



If your Christmas has been a disappointment you can become self-aware, ask yourself if you were realistic, forgive, discuss and move on. These options may work for you, but if there are deeper concerns or if you have been badly hurt, you will probably need extra support. That’s where you can rely on our Readers, so put in a call and talk to someone wise and understanding who will not let you down.



PUBLISHED: 03 January 2018

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