PerspectivesNikesha Elise Williams Jacksonville Today Contributor
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Opinion: In search of holiday peace

Published on December 20, 2021 at 5:06 pm

As the year comes barreling toward an end, I’m keenly aware of how tired I am. I’m spending the holiday out of town with family, and for the last week I’ve been eagerly and anxiously counting down the days until I can board the plane. I’ve even given myself things to look forward to in this countdown like getting my son a new winter coat and picking up a new suitcase. I’m even looking forward to doing the laundry the day before our flight. 

Do you know the mental state you have to be in to look forward to doing the laundry? 

I feel like I have the parenting version of senioritis, when high school seniors just stop caring and doing work around March and April because they know they’re about to graduate and move on with whatever the next phase of their life has for them. That’s where I am. Completely checked out. If I’m here, other people have to be here too. Right?

The holidays—no matter which one you celebrate—bring with them their own kind of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety that is compounded by the stress and anxiety we may generally feel on any given day just by nature of being adults. That our lives are consumed by a global pandemic, crime, racism, and any number or combination of the world’s woes makes this time of year a little less joyful. 

As a child I looked forward to the holidays. My family had traditions I cherished. We sang, we ate, and while the gifts were great, I think I was more attached to the feeling of this time of year than any specific item I just had to have. As an adult, I want to give my children the peace of that feeling. I want to give myself back the peace of that feeling instead of worrying why one string of lights on the house won’t light up, if I have enough gifts for our Christmas away from home, or can I really afford to take off two weeks as a creative entrepreneur? 


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Also by Nikesha Elise Williams: Opinion: What are we teaching our children?

Even as I look forward to the getaway, the unplug, and wind down, I’m too conscious of what awaits on the other side. Christmas will come and go, and on the precipice of a New Year we’ll be wound back up to go, go, go and grind, grind, grind, until we reach the end of another year, tired and looking forward to doing laundry to leave our lives behind. At least for a little while.

This Christmas, this time, this year, I’d like to break that cycle. The worry, the stress, the anxiety, the exhaustion. I’d like to give myself and my family a peace that surpasses all understanding so that we may truly rest in it. 


author image Jacksonville Today Contributor

Nikesha Elise Williams is an Emmy-winning TV producer, award-winning novelist (Beyond Bourbon Street and Four Women) and the host/producer of the Black & Published podcast. Her bylines include The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Vox. She lives in Jacksonville with her family.

author image Jacksonville Today Contributor

Nikesha Elise Williams is an Emmy-winning TV producer, award-winning novelist (Beyond Bourbon Street and Four Women) and the host/producer of the Black & Published podcast. Her bylines include The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Vox. She lives in Jacksonville with her family.


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