Why December SUCKS: The Season of Dread

It's getting to be that time of year that I dread the most. Holiday Season. And I'm here to tell you that it's okay to feel what you feel about the holidays.

Me, I hate the holidays. There isn't any one episode that occurred in my life around the holidays that has lead to this season of discontent. It’s just how it is.  

I have always felt uneasy, especially around Christmas. As far back as I can remember, I have always shed tears on this day, and not tears of joy. When I was school-aged, I felt pressure to be excited about the holidays. I had to be excited about presents, time with family, decorations, and all that Fa La La La La garbage.  Even then, I hated being expected to feel a certain way. It wasn't until I was an adult that I started to be able to articulate my feelings of dread. But when I did, I was accused of being a grinch.

I have found that having kids and feeling this way at the holidays is especially conflicting. I want them to experience all joy around presents, time with family, decorations, and Fa La La La La – but I don’t want to pressure them to feel it if it isn't there. So I do a balancing act: on the one hand, hiding my feelings; and on the other, creating special moments for my kids even, though my heart isn't really in it. It is so contrary to the way I try to live my life normally, with authenticity and honesty.

As my boys have gotten older I have shared some of my feelings about how this is just a really difficult time of year for me. My oldest son has a love-hate relationship with this season too. It breaks my heart to see it, and I just try to offer him space to talk about it if he wants or to process it alone.  

That's what I hope anyone who feels dread this time of year would do for themselves. Create space to be okay with your feelings.  Process them with people who care about you. Be kind to yourself, and forgiving when things are difficult, and be confident that taking care of yourself is the best way to make it through another season of dread.