The Holidays Aren’t Always Easy

We have an excuse to avoid those family members we’d rather not see this year. We can stay away from those gatherings we used to spend the week before, dreading. We can avoid bad food, bad company, and passive aggressive insults. While that may solve some problems, it can create others.

I love Christmas, honestly. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I have a very small family and only ever deal with my parents and brother. The holidays for me are quiet. I don’t bounce from party to party or house to house. There aren’t 5 different Christmas celebrations in 5 different homes. I don’t have the stress of making a huge meal or having everyone over. This year in fact, because of the pandemic, I actually get to make Christmas dinner on Christmas day. That’s a first in a long time, as I’m normally at my parents house for Christmas.

Remarkably my Christmas will be even quieter this year, staying home with just the kids and their father, not going anywhere or doing anything. It’ll be simple, relaxed and very easy. I’m totally okay with that.

But as there has been every other year for the last 25-years, there’s a spot in my life that remains unfilled. There is still one person that I don’t get to spend time with. There is one person that I have never spent Christmas with. It’s likely that we will next year, for the first time. That will be special, beyond words.

For this year though, I get to keep a lid on that once again. There is nothing to be done and allowing it to ruin the day doesn’t solve anything. It’s just there in the background, reminding me that something is still missing. But that dream will fulfill itself soon enough.

My advice is to stay present if you struggle with Christmas. Take each moment as it comes. Try not to attach the emotions you’re feeling to the holiday you’re having. They don’t have to connect to each other unless you let them. It’s okay to fall apart. It’s okay to be unhappy. I just try to keep the pain separate because I believe Christmas can still be a really good day with the people I do have. It may not be perfect, but close counts, and I’m okay with that.

If you’re spending Christmas alone, maybe you’ve been alone most of the year already, this day will be harder. Please remember that not every year will be like this. Give yourself the gift of presence, time and space. Make yourself a nice dinner for one and just be. Find a way to treat yourself on Christmas day. This weirdness won’t last forever.

Regardless of how weird this year or who is missing from it, find some joy somewhere in the days to come. It’s those little moments that we can find to be present and happy that will make all the difference to us as we look back in the future.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and love to all.


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