Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
We all know how joyous, fun, loving, and wonderful the holiday season are; seeing the different houses light up with decorations at night, listening to Christmas music to get into the holiday season, and spending time with family for the holidays are just some of the things many of us enjoy about it. But, the holidays can be just as stressful and depressing as they are happy and joyous. Not everyone’s holiday season is like a Hallmark movie; it’s not always snowed-in and spending time with family, it’s not always decorating the Christmas tree and wrapping up gifts, and it’s not always a happy time. It seems like people are a lot tenser towards this time of year, whether it’s just the quickness of the holidays approaching, shopping for gifts – whatever the case is, it’s not always snowflakes and decorations.
Personally, for me, the holidays can be both happy and depressing, depending on how I see it and how things are going. Over the years, the holidays have been some of the most difficult times of the year just because the spirit around the holidays focuses on things that my family and I struggle with; togetherness, lovingness, whatever family shit the holidays are supposed to make us feel. So, if your holiday season is anything similar to mine, here are some tips and reminders in order to survive the holiday season:
- The holiday season isn’t just meant for blood-related families, it’s for whatever family means to you. I appreciate the people who go out of their way and spend the holidays with their closest friends and buddies; in a sense, that is their own definition of a family! Many people who have troubled relationships with their blood-related families are still able to feel that loving and togetherness with other people they love and care about, and that’s honestly the true meaning of the holidays! Spend it with people you love and care about; don’t worry if those people in your life are not blood-related.
- You matter and you deserve to see another holiday season next year. Despite the Spring season being one of the highest suicide rates of the year, the holiday season is a close second. A close family member of mine attempted suicide one holiday season a couple of years ago, and when my family and I visited them in the hospital, the visiting room was packed up with visitors and patients to the point that the workers at the place had to set up chairs outside of the visiting area. Remember that there are tons of people out there who feel like they are not accepted into their families for being who they are, and feel the loneliest during the holiday season. Always remember that you matter and you deserve to live.
- Just do the damn online shopping. I’m not one to do most physical shopping anymore only because I’m addicted to online shopping, so this holiday season I did most of my shopping online! It saved me a lot of the stress on when and where I’d go on this shopping adventure (especially when I go to work most of the week in Staten Island). As I’m writing this, I’m 95% done with Christmas gifts for my family, which is a relief. So, to save you the stress and chaos of holiday shopping, just do it online, y’all.
- Make your own holiday traditions. When I was younger, the best part about the holiday season for me was the traditions my family and I had. When my grandfather was alive and when my grandparents were younger, they would bring all of our family gifts down to the city and drop them off at my house and we weren’t allowed to open them until it was Christmas. My sibling and I loved our grandparents’ gifts because they were always amazing. Also, my family always made an attempt to make it seem like Santa came rushing into our window and delivered all of our gifts on Christmas Eve, which made the season always feel magical. Of course, as I got older and everyone in my family got older, the holiday season hasn’t been the same, which is why I’ve made my own holiday traditions to follow! I put up decorations on my own, I write and send out holiday cards to the people I love the most, I honestly just try to do the things that I love to do for the holidays, and I guess when I get older and *maybe* have a family of my own, my traditions will pass down to another generation!
- Take the holiday season with a grain of salt. The holiday season isn’t something that has to be or feel different than any other time of a year, in reality. If you’re not into the holiday season, then don’t treat it any differently than you do with the rest of the year. The holiday season, if not just a big season full of consumerism, wouldn’t be a big deal if our country wasn’t so captailist-hungry like it is. Again, the holiday season is difficult for a lot of people, and if you just don’t have any holiday spirit within you, that’s okay. No one is telling you that you have to be or feel a certain way because of the holidays. Treat this season how you feel is best for you!
Again, this time of year is different for everybody, and that’s okay if you don’t feel or have that cheesy, Hallmark-like holiday that society tries to shove down your throat. your holiday season is unique to you and whether or not you celebrate, that’s completely okay! As long as you’re healthy, okay, and getting past this next month of holiday stuff, that’s all that should matter.