It's okay to not celebrate any holidays this year.
A few nights ago I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine. Well, more accurately, I let them share their thoughts and I tried to answer in a respectful way as well as understanding. Their statement was one I've seen online and heard a few times.
"It just doesn't feel like Christmas."
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I think we all can agree that the holidays this year just don't feel like they used to in the past and I think that's okay. If you're being accused of being a Grinch or Mr. Scrooge because you don't feel joyful, you're not in the wrong. This year has been the most challenging, heartbreaking, and truly disturbing year that will be imprinted in our history. People have lost their jobs, friends, family, their homes, their health, sense of self, and hope this year. The world is only rose gold for those of privilege who have actively chosen to be ignorant and pretend that nothing has happened and no one is suffering. If you're in any of these circumstances, there are no words I can give to you other than my sincere hopes that you continue to have the strength to do the next best thing and I hope you find safety, love, and hope. I wish I had more resources to be able to help, but as of right now all I can do is offer comforting words. If you are not part of any of these circumstances, you can find little bits of comfort in being thankful. That being said, I want to remind you that being grateful can be a component of happiness but it is not the same as feeling happy. You can be grateful and still not be happy and that is okay. You should always be grateful for the good in your life, but you do not need to always feel happy. That's not realistic and it limits the human experience. Anyone who encourages you to always be happy is encouraging you to not live an authentic human existence. There are plenty of valid reasons to not feel holiday cheer and you are not required to force yourself into feeling it. It does not make you a villain. It does not make you ungrateful. It does not mean you are bringing down the mood of other people. Your energy is your energy, if you are not actively harming someone else or spreading hate or hurting yourself, then you are not responsible for someone else's energy. For those who feel happy and are using the holidays as escapism from the disaster that is 2020, that's fine. You are allowed to do that but do not make other people feel shame or guilt for not being in the same mindset. Everyone's life has had to recalibrate to the demands and tasks of 2020 in ways that are dependent on opportunity and lifestyle. We aren't anywhere close to being over with 2020. When 2021 is here we will still have to face the massive aftermath of everything that has occurred in 2020. All this to say, take these last days of 2020 to feel whatever emotion you need to feel. It's alright if you're sad, angry, cheerful, hopeful, worried, anxious, or even numb to all emotion.
Stay safe. Stay as healthy as you can. Be as kind as you can.