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It’s Ok to Be Sad at Christmas, If We Have Something to Be Sad About

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 30, 2018 6:12:23 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Christmas, Holiday Season

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This month, there are a lot of “service pieces” in magazines and newspapers with helpful advice about how to not be sad at the holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah. These well-meaning columns have suggestions on how to change our moods and move away from sadness. However, I have a theory that having feelings that match reality is mental health, not mental illness.

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The Gift of Self-Care

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 22, 2017 9:31:39 AM / by Sherry Gaugler-Stewart posted in Holiday Season, Christmas, self-care

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The first time I went with my husband to his side of the family for the holidays, I struggled. Although my family was far from perfect, the holidays were something that I felt we did really well.

Even in my adult years, my mom always waited until everyone was asleep on Christmas Eve to put gifts under the tree. We would awake to magic. We would open stockings, and have a little breakfast, and then start a leisurely unwrapping of the presents. Gifts would be opened one at a time, and everyone would have an opportunity to see what everyone else was receiving. If a little one opened something that they wanted to play with for a while, we allowed for that. After all of the gifts were open, we would start cooking the big family meal. It smelled divine! We would eat, basking in the abundance, and then clean up, have dessert, and sit around the table for hours having conversation and playing games.

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Merry Christmas... At Last

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in sober, hope, recovering alcoholics, alcoholic loved one, alcoholism, Christmas, Holiday Season

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This year, 2015, is the first year that I haven’t felt some generalized distress at Christmas time. It began when I was a child in a violent, alcoholic home. I almost always got hurt on the days leading up to Christmas. It would begin with the tree.

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