Embracing The Holiday Blues
November 25th, 2021
Every year, it comes. Every year I hope that maybe this will be the year it won’t…but it always comes.
The holiday blues.
The bouts of weepiness.
The waves of grief that at any moment can get triggered by a song, a scent, or a memory.
The recognition that I am worlds away from the Holiday celebrations I once knew and loved and thought would never end.
That feeling of orphan-ness.
That feeling of wishing I could just skip it all and jump to the New Year, and the wishing I didn’t feel this way about what is known as the most wonderful time of the year.
Because I used to love it too.
I loved. . .
My grandmother, the Holiday Queen, glamorous and decked out in a sparkly top with dazzling earrings, sweat on her brow, busy in the kitchen while snapping orders at my grandfather as he tried to keep up.
They worked so hard to make everything wonderful.
I loved. . .
The lit up faces of all the old folks when I arrived on the scene, and feeling eager to show off how much I’d grown that year. Being the only granddaughter. Feeling adored.
I loved. . .
Perfumed hugs that left their scent on my clothes.
My uncle making fart jokes with my rough housing boy cousins.
My favorite aunt finding reasons to hysterically laugh at ALL THE THINGS.
The traditional “point at the turkey” photo my grandmother insisted we take every year. And every year the faces we made becoming sillier.
The food and decorations that looked like they came out of a magazine spread.
The pile of birthday presents next to the ‘birthday girl’ chair I couldn’t wait to dive into.
The chocolate chip cheesecake my grandmother made for me every damn year IN ADDITION to all the pies and birthday cake just because she knew it was my favorite.
I was born on Thanksgiving, and so in my family my birthday was celebrated on Thanksgiving, even if it landed on a different day that year.
I never felt slighted. It was Thanksgiving on crack where I got to open presents AND be celebrated. It was all I knew. What’s not to love?
This was my Thanksgiving for 35 years and in it’s prime it was FIRE. And…every year I remember that this will never be my Thanksgiving again.
My grandmother passed in 2011, everything changed, and I’ve felt a bit like a Thanksgiving/birthday combo orphan ever since.
So every year I wonder what I should “do” about these Holiday blues that inevitably creep in, despite my hope that I might dodge the bullet this time.
But. . .
Maybe there is no bullet to dodge? Maybe this year I just let the sadness be here as it pleases? Take it as it comes along with the joyful moments as they come? Maybe there’s nothing wrong.
Maybe I just let the Holiday blues do their thing and not see it as a disruption, or something I need to run away from or fix?
Maybe just talking about it right now might be helpful not only to me, but to others too? (I’m feeling better already actually).
Maybe your family is different now and you feel sad this time of year too?
Have you lost a loved one and you get the sneak attack weepy weeps too?
Can you relate to feeling like a Thanksgiving orphan?
If you can, I want you to know I see you.
You are not alone.
You don’t have to pretend.
It’s ok to be sad.
Feel it. Express it. Dance it out. Talk it out. Cry it out.
Let it out.
We can be grateful for what we have now, and who we have now, but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to grieve and maybe feel a little lost too. I’m done trying to fix it. Joy and sadness can co-exist.
This year, I’m inviting the Holiday blues to have a seat at the table, next to me, along with my joy, and my gratitude. I’m saying yes please and thank you to however I feel, and serving it an extra scoop of mashed potatoes. Care to join?
Happy Thanksgiving. Love to you my friends.