In December, every aspect of mainstream culture says that Christmas is important and that it makes people happy and that it is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
And for some people, that’s true.
But this can be a really hard time of year for a lot of people.
For people who are alone, it can be horrible to get messages that this is the time of year you should be with family.
For people who have family they can’t safely be with, this can be especially difficult.
And some people have family they can’t safely be with, and have to spend time with them anyway this time of year. That’s especially hard. Especially when the whole culture sends the message that all good people are close to their families this time of year.
Christmas isn’t magic. It doesn’t make any of that go away. The family you have at Christmastime is the same family you have the rest of the year. Christmas doesn’t solve that, and it’s ok to be aware that the problems are still there.
And in some families, presents are used to hurt and humiliate people. Even when presents aren’t used to hurt people, they can still be a painful reminder that family doesn’t understand you and care about what you want as much as you’d like them to. It’s ok to be sad about this. It’s not the same as being an entitled materialist. Presents can hurt, just like any other form of social interaction. If you’re being hurt, take that seriously.
And for some people, Christmas is triggering because they associate it with abuse.
It’s ok if Christmas is hard for you. It’s not your fault, and it’s not a moral failing.
And if Christmas really is wonderful for you, that’s ok and good too, and you should enjoy it as much as you can.
No matter what today is like for you, try to be good to yourself.