Why I Hate the Holidays

November 23, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Dear Kathy,

     I hate the holidays. I’m depressed more and more as they get closer. I have a hard time even leaving the house in November and December because the decorations in the store windows give me anxiety.

     Let me explain. I grew up in a large extended family and we did the holidays in a big way. Growing up, my family was everything to me. In my twenties I married a man my family disapproved of and ever since then, they have treated me like a traitor for turning my back on them and marrying him despite their misgivings.

     They didn’t come to my wedding and they haven’t acknowledged the birth of either of my children. It kills me inside that my kids don’t know their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Knowing that my family is getting together and enjoying each other while I’m at home alone with my husband and kids is a knife in my heart.

     I have reached out repeatedly over the years, but my overtures are ignored. They literally treat me as though I’ve died. All I did was follow my heart and marry my soul mate. I understand that he wasn’t their choice for me, but how does the punishment fit the crime? The holidays are a bitter reminder of my pain and I just can’t seem to get past it. I want this year to be different but I don’t know how to make it better without being included in their lives again.

Shunned,

          “Bethany”

Dear Bethany,

     I commiserate with you. It must feel just awful to be excluded from all the festivities by people you love. That being said, you have two children whose holidays are overshadowed by your sadness. That is no more fair to them than what your extended family is doing to you.

     Make the holidays different this year. Incorporate friends into your holiday celebrations, go away and enjoy a different venue, or do volunteer work as a family and make the holidays brighter for those less fortunate.

     It is your extended family’s loss that they have chosen to shun you, don’t make your two children pay for it. I am certain that if you and your dearly beloved put your heads together, you will come up with a way to fill this magical season with joy for your family of four. I wish you my very best. Please keep me updated on your situation.

Happy Holidays,

                          Kathy

RECOMMENDED