Christmas as an adult is hard.
I look forward to Christmas all year long. I decorate my home, I listen to Christmas music, and watch every Christmas movie that Freeform plays every night in December. I get together with friends and family, I wear Christmas sweaters, and try my best to spread holiday cheer. I try to hype it up as much as possible for everyone in my life, but mostly for myself.
Yet, here I am on Christmas Day sitting on the couch writing this post. I’m not surrounded by a ton of loves ones, just my husband and his parents. I didn’t get all dressed up in my holiday best, I’m still in my Christmas pajamas. I’m not drinking wine and catching up with cousins, I’m lounging on my inlaws’ couch typing this post while my husband and his father yell at the television that’s playing the basketball game and my mother in law snoozes in her armchair.
I would be lying if I said a quiet Christmas doesn’t make me a bit sad. Watching these Christmas movies, seeing other people post pictures of their celebrations on social media, and wishing my whole family was together makes for a little bit of a sad Christmas. I’m wistful for the Christmas that never was. Or at least, the Christmas celebrations of the past when I was younger. I long for the feeling of warmth that comes from being surrounded by family.
There’s all this hype leading up to the holiday and all these expectations. You want everything to be picture perfect, you want to have the grandest celebration of all. You long for the Christmases of your youth, when Santa still existed and the magic and wonder was still all around. You try your best to tell yourself everyone celebrates differently and not everything is as it seems. It can get exhausting and then it can lead to a letdown and a feeling of sadness. And when that happens, I’m filled with guilt for feeling a bit sad when I have so many loved ones in my life, but we’re so spread around that we can’t all get together for Christmas.
I guess what I’m trying to convince myself is – it’s okay. I have to understand that it’s okay to celebrate differently. It’s okay to have a low-key holiday. It’s okay that my Christmas Day isn’t Instagram worthy like everyone else’s seems to be (keyword: SEEMS). And most importantly, it’s okay to feel a little bit sad and wistful for something. Having all these expectations leads to disappointment, and that contributes to my already existing depression. Why do I do this to myself? I have to understand – life is okay.
I just have to remind myself to remember that I am lucky to have my loved ones. I am lucky to have everything that I need to live comfortably. Mostly though, I’m lucky to be alive.
It’s really hard but I’m learning to take the good with the bad, and the bad with the good. I just need some reminders, sometimes.