This Christmas holiday season I want…
To be heard. To have my voice and concerns be taken seriously. Why is it so hard for society to understand mental illness? Why do we always have to be cheerful and joyful around Christmas time? It’s not always a good time.
Christmas can be stressful, joyous and everything in between. It can be a time for family and friends to come together, but it doesn’t have to be. If you don’t like Christmas, that’s ok!
Christmas Isn’t For Everyone
Christmas is a Christian holiday, which means it’s not celebrated by everyone. Some people don’t celebrate Christmas because they are not Christian and others simply don’t celebrate it because they’re not religious at all. It’s completely fine to not like Christmas if that’s what you feel more comfortable with!
If you’re unsure of where you stand on the whole “Christmassy” thing, try taking some time to think about what Christmas means to you before making a decision. Think about how the holiday makes you feel: Is it stressful? Exciting? Boring? You may find that your feelings about Christmas change over time or as your life circumstances change.
It’s Ok If You Don’t Like It
It’s ok if you don’t like Christmas.
A lot of people think that everyone should like Christmas, but not everybody does. There are a lot of reasons why you might not like the holiday. Maybe you’re Jewish or Muslim, and your religion doesn’t celebrate Christmas at all. Maybe you’re an atheist and don’t believe in any kind of higher power or deity. Or perhaps, you do celebrate Christmas but it’s just not your favorite time of year—it could be too cold, or there is too much pressure to buy gifts for others, or maybe the weather is bad and there’s nothing to look forward to.
Whatever your reason may be, it’s totally fine if you don’t want to spend this one particular month celebrating all things merry and bright!
Not Everyone Loves Christmas
Not everyone loves Christmas. For some, it’s a time of stress and anxiety. There are family issues, financial concerns, and the pressure to make the holidays perfect. For others, Christmas is a reminder of loved ones who are no longer with us. It can be a difficult and emotional time.
If you’re not feeling the holiday spirit this year, that’s OK. There’s no shame in admitting that Christmas isn’t your favorite time of year. You can still enjoy the season in your own way. Here are a few ideas:
• Focus on spending time with close friends and family. Cherish the time you have together, or don’t. If your family doesn’t make you feel welcome – for whatever reason – it is ok to skip family Christmas reunions.
• Take some time for yourself. Relax and recharge so you can face the New Year refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes your way.
Christmas Can Be A Time To Grief
You’re not alone in feeling this way. Grief is a normal reaction to loss and it doesn’t make us weak or ungrateful. The holidays are a time when we are expected to be happy and joyful, so if you don’t feel like that, it can feel even worse when you don’t have anyone around who understands how you feel.
If you find yourself grieving during the holiday season, know that there are many ways to cope with grief at Christmas:
- Talk about your loss with other people who have experienced similar things (family members or friends who have lost someone they love)
- Write down thoughts/feelings in a journal
- Talk with your therapist on your next session about how you’re feeling
- Do something nice for yourself (go to the spa, eat some chocolate)
You’re Not Obligated To Celebrate Something That You’re Not Comfortable With
You’re not obligated to celebrate something that you’re not comfortable with, and that goes both ways. This can be a tough truth to accept if you grew up celebrating Christmas, but it is one that many people have had to come to terms with. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, then simply opt out of it! You can choose whether or not celebrate Christmas in any way that makes sense for you and your family or friends.
If someone pushes back against your choice as an insult, remember: they’re probably just feeling uncomfortable about their own relationship with the holiday and are projecting their discomfort onto you because they’ve yet learned how much freedom there is in having agency over our own lives and identities
Festivities Don’t Have To Dominate Your Day
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. You can celebrate Christmas if that’s what you want, but if it’s not your thing, then you don’t have to. I’m a person who doesn’t like Christmas very much – I don’t really enjoy the music or decorations, but the thing that I least like is the family gatherings. I don’t like to feel like my trauma isn’t valid around some of the people that traumatized me in the first place, nor do I want to feel like I’m being belittled just because I don’t have the same belief system as I did when I was a child. Grief is also a huge part of the reason why I don’t like Christmas.
The best part about being able to choose how you spend your holidays is being able to truly celebrate them however makes sense for YOU–regardless of whether or not other people think those traditions are “right” for everyone else around them!
Whatever you do this holiday season, remember that there’s no wrong way to celebrate (or not celebrate) Christmas. Do what feels right for you and don’t let anyone else tell you how to enjoy the holidays