I used to think I was alone in thinking that the Christmas season was terrible. It felt like there was a conspiracy of silence. It was as if people thought that if they didn’t talk about it then it won’t be so bad. They thought it was bad to admit that they aren’t having a great time. Christmas was the elephant in the room. It was like the Emperor’s New Clothes, but instead of clothes it was Christmas. Nobody wanted to admit that what they were experiencing wasn’t matching up with what everybody else said they were experiencing.
People are just now starting to talk about how hard the Christmas season can be. It has grown from a beautiful time where God has shown immeasurable love into a huge monstrosity where we spend all our money and energy and are worn out. It has grown into the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be.
If this is a holiday you normally celebrate, know that you are free to create your own rituals for this season or skip it entirely. It is not mandatory to follow the crowd. They are probably faking being happy anyway. You’ll be doing everybody a favor if you quit pretending everything is fine. This will give them permission to be honest about their feelings too. Perhaps you could use this season to spend quality time with your friends instead, turning presents into presence.