Christmas time comes but once a year, and for some people that is too much. When I think of Christmas, it brings to mind delicious (albeit unhealthy) festive foods, invaluable time with loved ones and cringeworthy TV specials. For many people though, the festive period can be extraordinarily difficult to navigate due to where they feel they are in their lives.
People who don't enjoy Christmas are often portrayed as a bit of a Scrooge in the media, which could not be further from the truth. People have their valid reasons, and they owe you no explanation of why.
During my time as Asset Coach, I can safely say that the holidays can be a topic that some people do not wish to speak about whatsoever as they have negative memories or feelings towards this time of the year. Some people simply do not celebrate, either for religious or non-religious reasons and it is incredibly important to respect this. Now and again though, people reach out for support over the festive period in an attempt to make it a more positive season for themselves. It all starts with a conversation.
One person I was working with loathed Christmas but enjoyed the events that they could get involved with such as choirs, plays, and storytelling. After speaking about why they hated the holidays, it also became apparent that the time of year was rich in activities that they enjoyed, so for them, this became the season's silver lining.
Christmas doesn't have to be about Christmas, and that is perfectly okay. Did you feel the pressure drop a bit reading that?
It's easy for Christmas to become a reminder of loneliness, let's face it. Adverts portraying the 'perfect' family, posters with friends exchanging expensive gifts and expectations to provide the perfect gift every year can be enough to make even the most confident person feel a little inadequate. Therefore, it can be really useful to remind people, both at Christmas and beyond it, what is truly important - especially when it all gets a bit overwhelming. Everybody is different, and sometimes, just the fact that they are alive can be the greatest gift of all.