For whatever reason(s), you're not happy. Maybe the holidays even add to your pain—because...you're not happy...but it seems like everyone else is. At least that's the language around it all, right? Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate. Happy New Year. Wow, that's a lot of Happy talk right there. See what I mean?!?
And the music and the TV shows and commercials.... Oh, I'm not even gonna go there. You all know.
Well, what if none of that describes you or looks like your life, and—let's be honest—you hate this time of year? Well, from me to you, I want you to know these things:
- It's OK. It's OK to feel how you feel. I'm not saying it's fun or that it doesn't suck. It's not. And—it does. But...it's alright. You're allowed to feel however you feel. Really. And if anyone tries to be the Feelings Police in your life, just ask them if they'd like to walk a mile in your shoes first. I mean, I'm betting that you didn't wake up one day and decide to be sad. Something brought than on. Whatever that is...I honor that in you. It's one part of your story. It might be a terrible part, but it's a part. And it deserves to be felt fully. You deserve to feel it all fully. And to not have anyone try to take that away from you.
- You are not the only one feeling like this. Not a by a long shot. To employ what D.L. Mayfield called, in her Brutally Honest Christmas Card post, radical vulnerability (which I love), I've felt this way many years. And I happen to know a bunch of people who have, too. It's also why many churches now offer Blue Christmas services. Now, that might not be your thing (it's not mine), but I find it nice to know that there are churches that are (finally!) acknowledging that not everyone's in the "happy happy joy joy" club.
- I'm not going to give you any advice. That's right, no "shoulds" here. I could tell you what works for me (or at least helps somewhat), but that may or may not be what works for you. And—I trust you enough to be confident that you'll figure it out on your own.