How Can Nostalgia Brighten our Christmas?
I shared a few memories of my early Christmas seasons the other day and experienced powerful effects I would like to share with you. Simply looking through old photo albums and keepsakes stirred up strong connections with loved ones and memories that had been buried deep inside me for some time.
When we experience losses in our life, we need time to grieve and cope with the missing connections. Those feelings can sometimes overshadow the overall goodness and richness of our lives. Reminiscing over the positive and wholesome memories in our past tightens feelings of gratitude and helps us cope with some of the very things we are all dealing with these days.
Studies have shown that those nostalgic thoughts we engage in by looking through photographs, old videos, and reenacting traditions help us cope with isolation, boredom, and anxiety. Who hasn’t faced a little of those feelings lately?
Sharing traditions and rehashing memories proves to be exactly what we need to strengthen bonds with our partners, family, and friends. Just as sharing new experiences connects us, so does reliving the joyous occasions that developed our psyche.
After my mother and brother passed away several years ago, I felt a tremendous sense of loss. One of the methods I stumbled upon to help ease my pain began with simple pictures. My favorite pose of my mother rests in a basket of mementos I see every day when I get dressed. She is standing beside a clown wearing a silly hat full of joy; happier than I’d been envisioning in my grief. Checking in with her happy face every day has given me a perspective of gratitude for the time we had. Looking through sweet memories of loved ones and special times does wonders for our sense of belonging and self-worth. It is important not to dismiss the value of photos – they are there for a reason.
This year has forced us into separate paths that can put a strain on our relationships with others and cause us to second guess our own value. I encourage you to pull out the happy memories, watch the old Christmas movies, listen to the songs you love, and most of all – share your favorite stories with loved ones this season through the phone or in person.
I wish you the most glorious moments of nostalgia and new memories for all time.