Note: this is my Catholic Free Press column for December; it is also running on Catholicmom.com.
Here’s an except:
There is a lot of pressure applied to people during the holiday season to conform to some artificial standard. Society tells us to behave in one way while the opposite is preached by our Church. Newlyweds are expected to be present at all the family gatherings despite the impossible logistics. The financially strapped are supposed to spend, spend, spend. The domestically challenged must entertain and cook up a storm. Those still licking wounds from Christmases past are supposed to act like they were never wounded. The lonely should not be lonely and the grieving should stop mourning and put it behind them.
So how can we be of help? And what if we fit one of these categories — can we be kind to ourselves?