In my experience, Christmas (if you celebrate it) is one of those things that you either love or you hate. Personally, I love it. I’m deeply passionate about all things Christmas: the food, the movies, the decorations (consumerism wins again), and the time spent with friends and family. It’s something that I look forward to every year, and when it’s over, I fall into a brief state of depression. That’s how much I love Christmas.
Honestly, I never used to understand how you could possible dislike Christmas. How could you feel anything less than intense excitement at the thought of waking up on Christmas morning? To some extent, I still don’t, but the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve understood that Christmas, for all its joys, can be hard. Buying gifts can be expensive, working Christmas hours can be exhausting (hello to my fellow retail workers), and—for people either without a family or with a difficult relationship with their family—it can be a lonely reminder of past trauma.
I’m now at a point where I appreciate that Christmas is something that I’m lucky to view with anticipation rather than dread. It’s not something that we’re all programmed to enjoy. It’s something that is learned and which depends heavily on personal circumstance.
So, this Christmas, I’m thinking about all of the people out there who, for whatever reason, don’t feel good about the upcoming season. Let’s make sure that we prioritise kindness and compassion for those who need it the most.