The Holidays Aren't for Me!
Or how skipping the holidays is perfectly fine!
I promise I’m not a Grinch, but I might be skipping out on the Holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and I love decorating for them (and will continue to do so in my own home). It’s my extended family that makes it very hard around holiday time. I wrote an article about “Becky” (which is up on my Vocal profile, please check it out), my aunt who is ableist and tends to point out basically everything she thinks I’m doing wrong in my life.
Being around “Becky” isn’t healthy for me. It brings me down. It brings me down when others won’t back me up and stand up with me against “Becky”. It brings me down sometimes just when family members, the ones I haven’t seen in a long time, ask me about “what I’m doing with my life”.
But this article isn’t about “Becky” (I won’t give her the satisfaction of having two articles about her), or any of my family to begin with. This article is about how it is totally fine to skip the holidays for your mental health. Whether it’s to escape family members and prying questions, or maybe you just aren’t “feeling” the holiday spirit, whatever the reason, it’s valid.
The holidays are for you. You can make them anything you like. If that involves surrounding yourself with family, that’s great. If that involves avoiding your family like the plague, it’s your holiday, spend it the way that is best for you. If you don’t feel like decorating, or even celebrating, for the holidays, then do you (watch some Netflix, fix yourself your favorite meal, and take a bubble bath). This is your holiday and if it’s nothing more than a few days off work, cool! Vacation! Go to the beach and forget the blistering cold! Leave the country and go somewhere that Christmas isn't a thing! Celebrate a different holiday or just hang out with some close friends. It's your holiday, however you choose to celebrate is perfectly acceptable.
Your mental health is important and the holidays can be tough on people for a variety of reasons, and, sometimes, trying to force yourself to celebrate isn’t healthy or going to do you any favors in the long run. Don't force yourself to try and be happy in a situation that is NOT making you happy! You deserve to celebrate in a way that is healthy. Do it for you, skip if you have to. And, if you don't feel like explaining why you aren't coming to a family gathering, don't. Say you're sick. Say you have to work. Just send a postcard with some well wishes and leave it at that! You don't owe anyone an explanation if you don't want to give one, so, sometimes, a little lie isn't so bad here and there, especially for the sake of your mental health.
If you know someone who is skipping out on celebrating the holidays in a way you deem to be "socially acceptable", here is advice for you too: mind your own business and be kind. The holidays are not yours to police and you do not know the circumstances as to why they are not celebrating in the first place. And you don't need to. Not your business, remember? Just smile and wish them a happy holiday and go about your day! You don't know what "Becky" they are trying to avoid in their life, kindness and understanding is the best policy here!
Love you all, happy holidays (however you choose to celebrate)!
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