Facing the Holidays is not always Easy

Nov 28, 2023
Check out our blog with tips on how to make it through this holiday season!

Facing the holidays is not always easy. So many people will be wishing people a Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas… and the list goes on.  But not everyone feels merry, happy, or bright at this time of year. These holidays are about family gatherings, celebrations, gift-giving, decorating, and nostalgia for times gone by. For some, this is just too much to think about. They might not be able to find the joy that others find in this season. Please don’t accuse them of being the Grinch or the Scrooge.   


For some, just the thought of getting together with family is traumatic. Not all families are positive, some families are very toxic. If you come from a toxic family environment, getting together for the holidays can be a time of dread. You might get a feeling of foreboding before getting together with everyone. If this is the case for you, it’s important to consider what the benefits are of going to these gatherings. If your family is only a reminder of your trauma.  If it only brings up the pain of past wrongdoings. Or if the trauma is ongoing and you know you are walking back into it… then consider changing your traditions. You don’t HAVE to go to those family gatherings. If you are grown and living independently, you can create your own traditions.  Whether it’s new traditions with your new family or new traditions with friends, it’s all valid.   


Sometimes the holidays are tough because they are grief laden. Losing people is so hard. The holidays are often a reminder of who is missing or who used to make the holidays special for you. If the holidays are hard in this way, there are so many ways to handle this. You can start brand new traditions, marking the beginning of a new normal. Or you can incorporate new traditions to memorialize those who have gone before you. This way they are still present, still remembered, and you have a way to show them your love. Also valid, is to turn the holidays down a notch. If it doesn’t bring you the joy that it used to, it’s ok to reduce the amount of decorating you do, or not decorate at all. You can reduce the amount of holiday cards you send, or not send them at all. It’s ok if you aren’t feeling it this year. For those who need these things, let them do them. But if it no longer brings you joy, don’t feel pressured to do it just because everyone expects you to. You do you and let everyone else do them. Give yourself the freedom to celebrate or not celebrate, however you prefer. No pressure…


With all of this said, this time of year can be hard. You don’t have to face it alone. If your family and friends do not understand where you are coming from, reach out to professionals for help.  We’re here to support you. We’re here to help you come to your own conclusions about what is good for you and what is not good for you. We aren’t going to judge you or tell you what you “should” or “should not” do. That is for you to decide. We will be here to help you find the strength and courage to make whatever changes you need.   


Our wish for you this holiday season is to find peace and healing. Please reach out if we can help you with that...