The holiday season can mean something different to everyone. Some of us may start our shopping in November, some of us wait until Christmas Eve to decorate, while some of us binge-watch Christmas movies starting November 1. It varies across the board.
But for a lot of us, the spirit of Christmas does not consume us. I saw a post on Happy Not Perfect’s Instagram page that read: “It is alright if everything doesn’t feel merry and bright.”
It was validating.
I sent that particular post to my son after he admitted, he’s “just not feeling it” this year. My initial Mama Wolf instinct was to figure out how to kick the holiday spirit up into high gear.
Maybe we should bake cookies
Watch some our favorite Christmas movies
Decorate the house
Drive around and look at the lights.
Anything I could think of. But in sitting down and speaking with him, and reeling myself back from my internal tangent, I knew that validating his feelings was more important than forcing him to feel something that just wasn’t there.
Some Decembers we’re not going to feel joy.
We’re not going to want to watch the Christmas movies, decorate the tree or even want to participate in typical holiday activities and/or events.
And that’s okay.
There could be a number of reasons why the feeling isn’t there for some. They could be struggling with grief, anxiety, depression, a sense of loss. The list really goes on. Yes, we hope that the people we love don’t feel any ounce of sadness during the holidays but some years will be different from others.
Whatever you’re feeling during this special time, is valid. Whether it be joy, peace, sorrow, grief. Take every feeling as it comes.
Don’t feel pressured to drink the hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Don’t feel guilty for not buying that ugly Christmas sweater.
And don’t compromise your need to decompress when invited to parties and events.
This is the season of giving.
So give yourself some space and permission to feel.