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Not-So-Happy Holidays

I'm going to be the Grinch now and admit something: I'm not feeling very Christmas-y. I see the Christmas trees, the beautiful lights, the gifts under the tree, the greenery. But it doesn't resonate with me. I'm starting, slowly, to get excited. But it's taken me up until three days before Christmas to get there.

Holidays can be tricky because sometimes the life season we're in isn't conducive to the cheer that we think we're "supposed" to feel around this time of year. It's Christmastime, which means obviously the air should perpetually be filled with joy and the Christmas spirit. Right? Except... when it's not. Sometimes, life is just hard. Mental illness, emotions, and life circumstances are all things that can impact whether you feel happy around the holidays.

I'm right there with you. This year, I'm having trouble with Christmas excitement (and I'm learning to be okay with that).

To be honest, though, saying this makes me feel a little bad. More than a little bad. I'm actually cringing as I write this blog post because it feels so vulnerable and not okay, somehow, to express that I'm just not... happy this year. Well, not as happy as I'd like to be, anyway. I feel happy sometimes. But my heart isn't excited and ecstatic like I feel like I should be.

Why? Well, life seems very heavy this year. Anxiety has been taking its toll on me. I also miss my grandma, who passed away in 2012 and was the life behind every Christmas. I miss my grandpa, who passed away last year in early December. And, much as I'd like to say I'm moving on and everything, I still miss them, and my Christmas cheer is affected because of that. There's just a lot of things weighing on me, and that makes it hard to celebrate. It makes it hard to feel constantly happy and cheerful. To be fair, I still have had bursts of excitement and joy and Christmas cheer (especially when I watch perfect classics like The Santa Clause). But sometimes it's just hard to feel okay all the time... even at Christmas.

And guess what? That is absolutely okay. You're not alone. You're not less of a person because of your lack of Christmas joy (or any joy). You're just human. A vulnerable, beautiful, sometimes-broken, sometimes-okay human. Your emotions and humanity don't go on hold just because it's Christmastime. In fact, feeling all of our messiness is possibly one of the most honest and beautiful ways to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is the season of light, so let the lights around you be a reminder that there is hope for you and there is hope for us. Even if you're not feeling buoyant and happy, just know that there is grace and hope and light and love for you wherever you are.

However you are feeling, that is perfectly acceptable. Give yourself grace for this year to be and feel exactly as you are. Allow yourself to feel every emotion, whether it's "Christmas-y" or not. Take the moments of happiness if they come, but if not, just rest in the peacefulness of knowing that your emotions are valid and it's going to be okay. As the Disney version of Robin Hood says, "Keep your chin up. Someday there will be happiness again."

Sending you all my love this Christmas season,

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