Just Because You Don’t Enjoy the Holidays Doesn’t Make You The Grinch
Another year, another holiday season is upon us. Many people enjoy all things holiday from Christmas carols to shopping.
I am not one of those people. Never have been.
As I struggle with issues such as grief, and whether or not I believe in God, this time of year can be highly upsetting.
Keeping my feelings in check and not breaking down in tears because certain traditions I grew up with are gone is tough.
I miss my parents, plain and simple.
Am I ungrateful for all that I have? No. Not at all. They are two separate issues.
It can irritate me to no end to hear people disrespecting their parents. Unless you have lost one or both of them, you have no idea what it is like.
The past few years have seen me have almost nothing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Thankfully, that has changed.
That does not mean I do not feel a strong sense of loss at this time of year.
I worked in retail most of my life, which allows you to see the worst in human nature this time of year. Nowadays, I try to avoid those huge crowds.
I still shop with a tear in my eye, knowing I will not be giving scratch tickets to my parents. There will be no waking up at midnight to see what Santa left.
Those days are over.
On some days, this comes out as hating Christmas.
I am not the Grinch. I don’t really hate the holidays, I hate the pressure. Pressure to look good, be kind, be gracious…all of it.
Your Christmas will inevitably suck if you don’t get what you want, or your remaining family doesn’t bother to even call to say hi.
Sure, I have great friends here who have become my family, but it really and truly is not the same.
The Grinch in me wants to love the holiday season lock, stock and barrel, yet I don’t. I guess the emptiness I feel this time of year is too all-consuming.
I wish I could hear my father’s laugh, or hear my mother yelling at my father for using incorrect grammar.
So, this is what I ask of you, if you see someone not enjoying themselves, please reach out. They may be missing someone.
Or they just need to talk.
The only way to remove the stigma of feeling like the Grinch at this time of year is to allow people to be where they are.
I remember that first Christmas without mom and how sad dad was. He cried most of the day. Then dad passed away two years later.
My older brother and I still kept Christmas Eve. We would go out to our favorite restaurant and then we would open gifts. Doing that every year is gone since I moved.
Too much distance is between us now.
When we see someone not loving these days, be kind. Maybe they are missing out on traditions they once had too.
I am not the Grinch. My heart is capable of growing.