Holiday Feelings: Are They Merry or Stressful?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Dec 18, 2018

We are in the middle of a holiday season marked by twinkling lights, music, movies and sentiments that are supposed to bring joy and cheer. What if you don’t feel those sentiments right now? Is that OK?

Perhaps you have experienced difficulties, maybe health problems, loss of a job, or loss of a loved one. Maybe it is not possible to work-up the holiday cheer that everyone else experiences.

What do we do with the holidays if we are not feeling cheerful and upbeat?

Let's share together what you are doing with your less-than-merry holiday feelings.

Okay, a bit from a man's perspective.
For me, the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. My wife stopped enjoying Christmas after her mother died. I thought that she would change back to her festive self but did not. That was 39 years ago and her standard comeback when asked about Christmas is, "I can't wait until it is over". The Holiday season has been a "reason for the season" event at our home for many years. There are no decorations, no tree, no festive parties and no presents. We exchange cards and that is it. None of these things has anything to do with the birth of Christ our Savior. People have become brainwashed by corporate America to buy, party, do this and do that. Ask yourself what benefit any of this has on the meaning of Christmas. Ask yourself how you feel going into and coming out of the season. I see too much of the High Expectations, unrealistic expectations, family drama; ad infinitum. Christmas comes and I see frazzled parents. I see sad people. I see everything that goes against the meaning of Christmas. The only people that seem to profit from the experience is — ou guessed it — corporate America. That's my 2 cents.

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@rkleinsmith I so agree with you! Even as a young child I didn't feel a pull to magnify the holiday season with commercialism. I chose to make cards or ornaments or gifts when I did it at all. For the last several decades, I make it a point to include people of all belief systems. Recently at a meeting, as I addressed the group, that was the message. It was clearly not the most popular phrase of the morning, but inclusivity was my exact message.
Ginger

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@gingerw I still make my own cards and gifts. Way too much commercial hooplas for me. Being all inclusive works for me too.

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@rkleinsmith

Okay, a bit from a man's perspective.
For me, the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. My wife stopped enjoying Christmas after her mother died. I thought that she would change back to her festive self but did not. That was 39 years ago and her standard comeback when asked about Christmas is, "I can't wait until it is over". The Holiday season has been a "reason for the season" event at our home for many years. There are no decorations, no tree, no festive parties and no presents. We exchange cards and that is it. None of these things has anything to do with the birth of Christ our Savior. People have become brainwashed by corporate America to buy, party, do this and do that. Ask yourself what benefit any of this has on the meaning of Christmas. Ask yourself how you feel going into and coming out of the season. I see too much of the High Expectations, unrealistic expectations, family drama; ad infinitum. Christmas comes and I see frazzled parents. I see sad people. I see everything that goes against the meaning of Christmas. The only people that seem to profit from the experience is — ou guessed it — corporate America. That's my 2 cents.

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@rkleinsmith Comment well taken from the perspective of a man. Thank you.

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@rkleinsmith

Okay, a bit from a man's perspective.
For me, the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. My wife stopped enjoying Christmas after her mother died. I thought that she would change back to her festive self but did not. That was 39 years ago and her standard comeback when asked about Christmas is, "I can't wait until it is over". The Holiday season has been a "reason for the season" event at our home for many years. There are no decorations, no tree, no festive parties and no presents. We exchange cards and that is it. None of these things has anything to do with the birth of Christ our Savior. People have become brainwashed by corporate America to buy, party, do this and do that. Ask yourself what benefit any of this has on the meaning of Christmas. Ask yourself how you feel going into and coming out of the season. I see too much of the High Expectations, unrealistic expectations, family drama; ad infinitum. Christmas comes and I see frazzled parents. I see sad people. I see everything that goes against the meaning of Christmas. The only people that seem to profit from the experience is — ou guessed it — corporate America. That's my 2 cents.

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@rkleinsmith , well said! That's why it's called CHRIST MAS.

Liked by lioness

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Holidays have always been tough for me. I grew up in a single parent household and what family we did have was always far away or estranged. Friends often invited my mother and I over for the holidays, but it always felt forced and lacked the deep connection and ease of being with family. Now that I’m an adult and married, it seems like the same issues remain. We don’t have kids, family members are scattered. We generally spend the holidays relaxing, in recovery mode from stressful jobs and long hours. But despite my dear husband, holidays still always feel lonely and like something to “get through.” I think we might feel better if we traveled somewhere, or maybe not.

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Another holiday season has come and gone. Now all of the returns of unwanted items showing how ungrateful many truly are…I do my best to stay away from stores due to this type of thing. Where the sense of entitlement comes from is beyond my scope of understanding. Hard to keep the depression monster at bay. Seems all I see and hear is give me, give me and nothing is ever good enough. Finding 1 gift under the tree as a child was appreciated. So sorry it has become like this.
I did get invited to the in-laws on Christmas Day after I said I did eat some gluten at times. Acceptance by eating what I rarely eat.
My negativity strikes after the holidays. Anyone else feel worse after and not because of eating too much?

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You did not mention anything regarding your spiritual health. Many of my fellow parishioners share your thoughts regarding the materialism of Christmas and the lack of focus on Jesus as the reason for the season. You may consider aligning yourself who have the same belief system as you and to look for strength through your Faith. Post Holiday 'blues' are common but if they spiral to depression, then seek help.

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@parus

Another holiday season has come and gone. Now all of the returns of unwanted items showing how ungrateful many truly are…I do my best to stay away from stores due to this type of thing. Where the sense of entitlement comes from is beyond my scope of understanding. Hard to keep the depression monster at bay. Seems all I see and hear is give me, give me and nothing is ever good enough. Finding 1 gift under the tree as a child was appreciated. So sorry it has become like this.
I did get invited to the in-laws on Christmas Day after I said I did eat some gluten at times. Acceptance by eating what I rarely eat.
My negativity strikes after the holidays. Anyone else feel worse after and not because of eating too much?

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I use to have the holiday "let-downs" as well, @parus. Not so much anymore. Perhaps my expectations are different now, they have become more realistic. I know that holiday cheer will not always exist and there will be low times. This holiday season I was spending a lot of time with a friend who had experienced a recent loss. It put lots of things in perspective for me. I hope you find the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

How is your weather? Does it allow you to get outside much?

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@parus

Another holiday season has come and gone. Now all of the returns of unwanted items showing how ungrateful many truly are…I do my best to stay away from stores due to this type of thing. Where the sense of entitlement comes from is beyond my scope of understanding. Hard to keep the depression monster at bay. Seems all I see and hear is give me, give me and nothing is ever good enough. Finding 1 gift under the tree as a child was appreciated. So sorry it has become like this.
I did get invited to the in-laws on Christmas Day after I said I did eat some gluten at times. Acceptance by eating what I rarely eat.
My negativity strikes after the holidays. Anyone else feel worse after and not because of eating too much?

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@parus It pains me/irks me to see the shallowness that is exhibited by many at this time of year. I have especially taken to task my husband's children and his sister. He doesn't like to hear my thoughts. So, when he commented the other night, and asked my thought, I told him. He got upset, to which I simply replied, "you know I am going to say the truth as I see it. It may or may not be the truth as you see it. If you don't want to hear my view, don't ask for it." It hurts to experience the entitlement approach.
Ginger

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@birdieb

Holidays have always been tough for me. I grew up in a single parent household and what family we did have was always far away or estranged. Friends often invited my mother and I over for the holidays, but it always felt forced and lacked the deep connection and ease of being with family. Now that I’m an adult and married, it seems like the same issues remain. We don’t have kids, family members are scattered. We generally spend the holidays relaxing, in recovery mode from stressful jobs and long hours. But despite my dear husband, holidays still always feel lonely and like something to “get through.” I think we might feel better if we traveled somewhere, or maybe not.

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Hi @birdieb – I hear you! Oh… and welcome to Connect! It's a great group here. I had a similar experience as you after my aunt died (she was like a mom to me). I just floundered from year to year. Sometimes my husband and I would just stay home and "relax", sometimes we would go away for a trip, sometimes just a special dinner on Christmas Eve. Once I did a big cooking adventure where I made a meal for just us two that took 3 days to cook. LOL. I'm not sure we've found the right balance yet. But I am grateful that wherever we are and whatever we do, it's Christmas and we are together. Truly, that's more than a lot of people have. Is there somewhere you have an interest in traveling to? That might be kind of fun!

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@gingerw

@parus It pains me/irks me to see the shallowness that is exhibited by many at this time of year. I have especially taken to task my husband's children and his sister. He doesn't like to hear my thoughts. So, when he commented the other night, and asked my thought, I told him. He got upset, to which I simply replied, "you know I am going to say the truth as I see it. It may or may not be the truth as you see it. If you don't want to hear my view, don't ask for it." It hurts to experience the entitlement approach.
Ginger

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@gingerw So true about the entitlement approach. My mind cannot not grasp thus nor would I want it it to.

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@hopeful33250 Post holiday let down. That works 🙂. Temps yesterday were in the upper 50’s in the 30’s today. I have thus far evaded the current stomach bug. My youngest son did not. Grandson has not.

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@parus

@hopeful33250 Post holiday let down. That works 🙂. Temps yesterday were in the upper 50’s in the 30’s today. I have thus far evaded the current stomach bug. My youngest son did not. Grandson has not.

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Ohhh, stomach bug – not good👎 I'm glad that you avoided it! (Something for the gratitude discussion?) Our temps in SE Michigan have been mild as well. A little wet, but better than snow/ice/sleet.

Wishing you a better day today.

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It seems like if family makes it through the holidays, then no one will die the rest of the year. LOL Grandma died on Dec 23, my mother's birthday. Mother died on Dec 29 after a nice Christmas with her and Dad. She said don't go home because you'll just have to come back again since I won't make it to the new year and she was right. Grandpa died Jan 4. Cousin died in early December. Dad broke the trend since he passed on Sept 29. Thank goodness not all of this happened in the same year. This was in 1967, 1964, 2008, and 1997. I am thankful for every time family gets together to celebrate and see the grandkids and my brother and sisters. Usually only happens once a year. So far so good for 2018 but my UTI is still there and am being treated for it. Never a dull moment. I am now the oldest at 71. Dad was 89 so hope long life is in my jeans/genes, either way. Happy New Year.

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