Whether you’re hopped up on ‘nog or hating the Who’s, there’s no denying the reality of the holiday blues.
Everything is hushed by a white blanket of snow, people are hustling and bustling around town trying to check of their lists, fires are being snuggled by (either real or on TV), carols are sung and drinks are shared, and the mistletoe is hung for the seekers and the avoiders. Everything seems just a little bit lighter. Not just because the night sky has been filled with a rainbow of twinkling lights, but because the magic of the season brings love and charity and hope and kindness.
The holidays can be great.
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or Fiesta for our lady of Guadalupe, our giving spirits come forward a little more than usual and good will toward men becomes a little more prevalent. Everything is romanticized, from gift buying and giving, to Santa, sleighs, reindeer and holiday movies. The warm and fuzzies threaten to pounce every time we turn a garland wrapped corner.
But the holidays, no matter which way we slice it, can also be depressing AF.
Some people are lonely, living in a new place with no friends and no family.
Some people’s families are the reason they hate the holidays.
The commercialism of the season can get people down, because there are so many people out there living with absolutely nothing.
Or, like me, your heart is torn into thousands of pieces because someone you love, more than life it’s self, isn’t here to celebrate with anymore.
I don’t know what to say to the people of the latter. There is nothing that can be said or done to make this holiday season any easier. I only have one small, underwhelming, piece of advice. Let it be. Whatever it is, whatever you feel; just feel it. Have moments when you need moments, cancel plans when you need to cancel plans and know that you have every damn right to be happy when you are having a rare moment of joy. It is your heart, it is your pain. Only you know your limits, only you know when its time to push yourself and when its time to slow down. Listen to your body, listen to your soul and whatever you are in a moment, just let yourself be and don’t let ANYONE shove their expectations of you down your throat. They have no right to have them. (also, this next part, although hopefully entertaining, might not pertain entirely to you if your heart is shattered. also, also, I love you. )
For those of you who don’t really have a reason, but your heart feels like a lump of coal, sometimes it’s just the fact that everything is a little more meaningful, a little more beautiful and a little more magical that makes people sad. Now you’re thinking “Wait… no it doesn’t …” but let me stop you right there.
It does. Especially in the age of social media, where we compare our B roll to everyone’s highlight reel, the longing and desperation to keep up with the Jones’s can throw a huge candy cane in your holly jolly. Even just looking out of the window as each unique and beautiful snowflake falls from the sky can bring us to a place where we are questioning every decision we’ve ever made and the meaning of life it’s self, as the new year draws closer. But I have a secret, it’s not based on anything real. It is based around a lack of self-love and self completeness and the ego telling you that your life isn’t enough. Yes, we all want that person we have been admiring to meet us under the mistletoe, yes we all want the perfect outfit to wear to our holiday parties and we all want that perfect day doing all the Christmassy things that look so good on camera so that everyone else can see how much FUN we are having.
Maybe you are alone and don’t have someone to snuggle, maybe you are surrounded by couples every time you go to a holiday party. Maybe you can’t find the perfect dress or all of your Pintrest hand-made gifts look like the south pole elves made them. Maybe things don’t measure up to the celebrities you follow on Instagram, or that one girl, from high school, who was always so put together, creative, and made the best collages for her locker.
But guess what?
When you look back on Christmases past, you aren’t going to remember the gingerbread house that looked more like a crack shack, the sugar cookies that you iced and had to tell everyone that your nephew did them because they were so terrible, the dress that wasn’t quite right, the mistletoe you never got kissed under, or how it was so cold your nostrils froze together, snow got in your pants so you had to walk around with frozen undies for the rest of the day, the horses that were pulling the sleigh kept farting and all that Bailys in your coffee made you feel like barfing(coupled with the horse farts) before it made you feel the ~holiday spirit~. Plus not being able to sit for at least a week after falling 1 million times while ice-skating from The Most Epic Day of Christmassy Adventures: 2016 .
If you let your pity party control the season then what you are going to remember is that you were miserable.
You will remember that you felt sad and alone and sub par at best. So if you are just having a bit of a hard time this season, try a little self-love.
You are enough, whether you are surrounded by people or alone with a book, some wine and a shit ton of baking.
You are loved by people near and far(and by me, FYI).
If you stop thinking about all the things you don’t have, that others do, and (as cliché as it is) take inventory of what you DO have (no, not like a flat screen and espresso machine… like family, love, a stomach full of Merlot and short bread cookies and a roof over your head) maybe your heart will grow three sizes.. or at least one.
It wont seem so hard to watch the snow flakes fall if you stop trying to come up with ways to make things better; you need to realize that they already are.
Your heart is beating, right?
You are able to make your own choices, right?
You have at least one person that you can call and wish a Merry Christmas to, and hear those words sincerely back, right?(if you don’t, let me know. I’ll call you.)
I have found, in my ever lasting journey and education with grief, that being alone is terrifying. But once you get over that fear of not being loved, you realize that a) you are, doy. and b) YOU love YOU. <that is one of the most important lessons I have learned. If I don’t love me, I can’t ask anyone else to, If I don’t love me then where is my motivation to stay alive?
So if you are you, which I know that you are, and with yourself on Christmas, you already have an irreplaceable type of love. Self-Love. And once you have self-love, doors and windows will open for you that you didn’t even know existed. Because loving, yourself and others, is the base for all that is good, tack on a badass frame of mind and unsubscribe from the constant invites to your self hosted pity party and who knows what this new year will bring.
But mostly, when you think back on Christmases past, you’ll remember being the life of the all-couple party, that you got a ton of compliments on your dress, that you and your friends laughed for hours because of your gingerbread house, epic Pintrest fails and infantly decorated cookies. You’ll remember that photo someone took of you kissing your glass of wine under the mistletoe because *true love does exist* and how you spent a magical day in a winter wonderland with some amazing people who love you and whom you love.
So put on Elf, the old Rudolf or The Grinch (Lil’s Favourite), snuggle up with your own damn self, something delicious to eat and something delicious to drink and enjoy the season of acceptable over eating, day drinking and snow days (unless you are somewhere hot.. then beach days and also can I come over?) and give yourself the love you so freely give to others.
‘Tis the season.