Christmas holidays are meant to abound in merry gatherings and joyful walks through decorated city streets filled with shoppers and laughter, right? It is what movies tells us it should look like and what society tells us we should be doing. Yet for so many individuals the holidays can be some of the darkest times in their year. Perhaps this is due to the loss of a family member, the painful reminders of a family torn apart by circumstances beyond your control, or maybe it is financial difficulties that leave you feeling like a failure in providing this ‘picture perfect” image of gifts under a tree and food on a table. It is okay to say it, sometimes Christmas sucks.
I spent a few years dreading Christmas. There was just so much heartache and difficulty associated with the holiday that I wished for it to be bypassed. I often hid myself at work or tried to do as much as I could to be outside of the house while simultaneously feeling ridiculously guilty for not being home. I wanted to be distracted from my pain but I also wanted to be present and find a solution. I did not want to spend time with other people’s family but I felt awkward and uncomfortable around my own. It all resulted in a very depression and guilt filled tormenting few days, until Christmas passed and family time was no longer in the spotlight. A lot of it arose from the difference of opinion some of my family had regarding my relationship, and the closer I got to walking into marriage the more I lost my grace for events where we all had to pretend we were happy when really we were all disappointed and very much unhappy!
Maybe your circumstances are different. Maybe you feel alone because your family is far, you are facing a breakup, or because you have lost loved ones. Maybe you feel like you are drowning in debt while your kids are begging you for items on their Christmas wish list. Maybe there is nothing wrong externally but you are feeling broken and miserable internally, and you just don’t know how to cope with it. Whatever your reasons for disliking the upcoming holidays, I want to let you know that you are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with you for not feeling up to joining the chipper crowds gathering at malls.
But! I am not just going to leave you upset and alone. I want to shine a little light of hope and remind you that it does not have to look this way forever, and that there ARE things you can do to find even a thread of hope and joy in your circumstances over the holidays. Perhaps you already know what you need to do – express that apology, set the needed boundary, toss the memory box, heck burn it if you want to! If you are having a hard time figuring out what steps you should take next to pull out of the holiday blues, head on over and read through my post “Holiday Blues? 3 Steps To Help You Get Through It“.
Wherever Christmas takes you this year, I hope that on December 26th you can reflect and say to yourself “that wasn’t as bad as it could have been” or at least “it was bad, but there was good too”.
With much love during this season,