Cynical, Childish or Childlike During the Holidays?

Do you tend to be cynical, childish or childlike around the Christmas holidays? My husband and I were at a home improvement store the other day because he loves to look at all of the Christmas decorations. He takes pleasure in watching and listening to the moving ornaments and musical displays. When he wanted to purchase a jukebox that synchronized Christmas music with the lights on the tree, I said, “Do we really need that?”

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I had squashed his fun—I had become cynical!

With the Christmas season is just around the corner, it is time to reflect on the wonders of life, reach out to others and laugh with family. Yet, so many of us are suffering with physical or emotional pain. We tend to focus on past regrets, family conflict or financial pressures. We become disillusioned with life.

To be ‘cynical’ means, “to believe that most people are motivated by selfish concerns. It also means “to become negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness.”

If you have slipped into cynicism, I want to encourage you to allow yourself to be a little foolish this year. I don’t mean ‘childish’ or immature with demanding expectations but childlike.

Childlike means to have renewed innocence, trustfulness, or candor.

Here are some of the words I think of when I want to be more childlike…

  • Spontaneous, forgiving, resilient, light-hearted, trusting, adventurous, open
  • Flexible, teachable, humble, creative, funny, simplistic, uncomplicated
  • Hopeful, inquisitive, playful and expecting

The upcoming Christmas season is a time to ponder the mystery of baby Jesus.

He was and still is Immanuel—which means God with us. He was never disillusioned because He did not have illusions. He responded to life in Truth and Reality. He was willing to come to this earth as a vulnerable baby who was full of the fun and excitement of youth. He never lost the sense of childlike delight and curiosity. He grew up knowing he would bear the weight of the world on HIS shoulders. He came knowing that love would conquer hate, good would overcome evil and joy would triumph over depression. He survived the harsh reality of the corrupt greedy world without ever becoming overwhelmed, hopeless or cynical.

So try this holiday season to have childlike fun, trying on a renewed sense of wonder.  Be young, be foolish and be happy, like the lyrics of the Tams’ song says….

 “Be Young, Be foolish, Be Happy” by The Tams

Be Young, Be foolish, Be Happy

Don’t let the rain get you down; it’s a waste of time

Have your fun; live everyday in the bright sunshine

Don’t let love slip away; Live your life for today, for today

Life is too short to worry about unimportant things

Reach for the sky, touch your star, and then you find your dream

Cause dreamin’ alone, it’s a shame indeed;

But if you got love that’s all you need;

So be young, be foolish, be happy


Author: Beth Holloway, MA, LPCA for Miller Counseling Services, PC

Beth Holloway, MA, LPCA

Beth Holloway, MA, LPCA is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and has more than 12 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has recently joined the Miller Counseling Services team and specializes in counseling individuals and couples who have experienced all types of losses including abuse, domestic strife, and trauma. She enjoys leading group therapy classes in the areas of Divorce Recovery, Spiritual Enrichment, Couples and Parent/Child Relationships, Grief Processing and Depression Recovery. Beth has had the privilege of traveling all over the United States and to more than 10 foreign countries and has been enriched by learning about people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups.


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