Permission To Retreat: Granted

For many, these next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind. You may be busy with gatherings or travel, preparing to host groups of family and friends, or doing your best to take good care of yourself as your heart aches from missing loved ones who have passed or from the pangs of loneliness.

While we’re encouraged to make this time of year jolly and festive, the truth is it can be incredibly emotional and stressful for a lot of people. To help you lighten the mood and get rid of some stress, I asked some friends for their favorite holiday movies and why they love

Consider canceling some plans (yes, that may mean disappointing someone!) and treating yourself to a movie night. Here’s what my friends have to say about their favorites:

  1. About a Boy, because I love the whole story of connection.”
  2. The Holiday. I love the fact that it involves a quintessential British cottage (I would never leave!), adorable children, comic relief, and a lovely, feel-good happy ending!
  3. Miracle on 34th Street. Love that no matter how old you are, believing makes everything so magical, especially for the little ones.”
  4. Meet Me in St Louis because I love the songs!”
  5. White Christmas. Classic music and dance”
  6. Elf, because is it frickin’ hilarious!
  7. Christmas Vacation because I love the fact that Clark wants all his family at his house for the holiday, no matter how dysfunctional they are, and then all the craziness that ensues. It’s a fun, feel good movie.
  8. Scrooge (1970 Albert Finney version). It’s never too late to make a positive change.”
  9. Muppet Family Christmas.”
  10. There were many mentions of “It’s a Wonderful Life! Here’s what people had to say about this classic:
    1. “Reminds me to be thankful of ‘who’ & ‘what’ is in my life – instead of complaining of what I don’t have.”
    2. “My husband and I love to watch this movie together and appreciate what a great story it is!”
    3. “Classic acting, great story. Love the moral: Everyone matters to someone and we should never forget that, no matter how bad things seem. We all count.”
    4. “It’s nice to be reminded that all of our actions have an effect on others and so we should try to do things that will make others’ lives better. I have never watched It’s a Wonderful Life and not cried.”

    Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have a chock-full season of visiting, connecting, and “special” holiday moments. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is draw the shades, get a nice, warm drink, and cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a favorite flick. Then, your tank will be refueled so you can really be present for the moments that matter.

    So pause right now, take a look at your commitments, and pick one to cancel. C’mon, I dare ya. 😉  Then, tell me all about it in the comments below!

    Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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