This may be your favorite day of the year. You might love all of the preparations of putting it all together: buying a Christmas tree, pulling your decorations from a bin in the garage, planning the meal, playing Christmas songs.
But what if you don’t like this time of year?
The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day can be exceptionally challenging. These six weeks spotlight loneliness, pressure, too much drinking, over eating and sadness. It emphasizes time with family and traditions for which we are all supposed to have the feel-good script. American families are expected to have the same experience with a big roast or feast, money and gifts in abundance, and easy hilarity in matching pajamas.
If you don’t play matchy-match with your neighbors by decorating your house, you’re the Grinch.
You’re given the side eye. If you don’t celebrate Christmas or some of these holidays, you look like a heathen. People ask why you don’t celebrate, where your family is located, why you don’t like being together for “the holidays.”
Let me be honest: some people are better off not seeing their families and spending holidays alone. Toxic relationships are harmful to the psyche. Some traditions are not meant to be carried forward. If spending the days alone is healthier for you, I’m in favor. I support you.
I used to be more of a holiday person when I lived at home and I didn’t have to do anything but wake up. My mom made the Thanksgiving meal, I came to the table. Now that I’m an adult, I have to put more energy into these days. I’m lucky to have a family of origin and a family of choice, my dear friends. But during December, when my friends visit their own families of origin, the rest of us are left all alone. We see movies, play games, drive with abandon (because traffic is minimal), and count down until the new year starts and we can put into practice what we’ve been discussing and journaling about for weeks.
A couple of my clients boycott holidays and leave the country. I think they have the right idea of eliminating the pressure in favor of self-care and travel.
- Take a walk outside.
- Go to the beach or mountains for an hour (and get out of the car).
- See a movie.
- Bake or cook your favorite food (even if it’s not a “holiday” food).
- Reach out to someone and say hi.
- Message me if you’re lonely. I’ll be around.
- Breathe some more.
I’m a Life Coach. Please contact me.