Laughing and Crying through the holidays?

December 21, 2020

I really have no words for this past year, nor even this current moment. 

But I do have this: I was decorating the Christmas tree this weekend and just burst out in an unusually robust round of crying, punctuated by laughing.  

I’m no stranger to tears, but I don’t get a good laugh-cry going often and certainly not in my pajamas holding tinsel in my hands while putting glass pickles on the tree.

What was going on? 

A whole cavalcade of things. 

First, my mother.

My mother loved Christmas and we had some great Christmases and we had some pretty horrible ones. But whether bad or good, Christmas was always a big deal in our house.

She’s now eight years gone and I miss her. 

Then there’s this pandemic, the daily tensions and growing losses – including friends who have lost loved ones this last week.

And then I’m really missing my family and friends in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas (how I ended up in Brooklyn far away from the clan is another story) and, of course, I’m missing all my *local* NYC friends.

I laughed after the tears because in the midst of this craziness I’ve also reconnected with old friends, been better about exercising and doing tons of reading, which I love, and –this is the best part – watched as council members really stepped up so no one walked alone during this tough year. 

After the tree trimming, I reached out to a friend for help. She had previously asked that I reach out when having a hard time. She put me in a good mood, and, in fact, suggested we host an impromptu holiday party together (yes, via Zoom, but it still put a smile on my face). 

I’m beyond grateful to my team for their hard work this year – and to the members of this broader community who have really been there for each other. And to my friends and family who have held my hand during this pandemic.

What words can I leave you with for this holiday?

Perhaps, only never walk, laugh, or cry alone.

And have as good a holiday season as you can.



P.S. I’d love to hear from you – how is your holiday season going? Any laugh-crying for you? 

P.P.S. If you’re a mom, then you may like this Saturday Night Live skit from this weekend:

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About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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