I did it. I survived the holidays. And I don’t have to listen to Christmas music for 10 more months! Hooray!
As I’m sure you’ve already suspected, I’m not usually big on the holidays. Except for Halloween. Halloween is the most joyous of all occasions. Those other holidays though? No thanks. Due to the societal expectations, financial burden, family obligations, etc., I find most major holidays to be not only disappointing, but incredibly stressful. Can’t afford to fly all over the country to visit family/friends for Christmas? There’s a guilt trip for that. Can’t spend a fortune on presents? There’s a guilt trip for that. Aren’t feeling quite as merry as you should during “the most wonderful time of the year?” You’re doing it wrong, obviously. You’d rather work than use up your PTO? You’re a terrible person….And so on and so on.
I hate the pressure that comes with the holidays. Pressure that society and family slaps on us, making you feel like no matter what you do, it’s not enough. Last year, when I was still in therapy, I expressed similar sentiments to my therapist. And you know what she told me? She told me that I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. And holy moley, she was right.
Despite the expectations laid on us during the holidays, none of us are under any obligation to fulfill them. There is never any reason to feel guilty for doing what’s best for you.
That being said, I had a lovely Christmas this year. This was probably the first I’ve had in a long time that I didn’t feel depressed. I enjoyed the time spent with Boyfriend and his daughter. Even more so, I enjoyed the time we spent by ourselves on Christmas Eve. I cooked dinner for us and we just hung out, doing what we wanted to do. He played video games, while I watched Doctor Who (a tradition of mine) and snuggled with Merlin. Christmas morning I got up and slaved over this beauty:
I made my first ever Buche de Noel (or Yule log), including some tiny little meringue mushrooms. Did I have to do it? No. Did I want to? Hell yes. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud or excited about a dessert I’ve made before. And I didn’t do it for anyone else, I did it just for me. It was totally worth it.
This post is a little late, but the holidays aren’t totally over yet. Don’t forget to make some of it about you.