I think feeling good is a process. One that doesn’t just naturally unfold into festive joy as soon as the winter season slaps with a chilly kiss to the tip of your nose.
After so much bad happening, it’s no wonder that feeling some note of positivity will take you a minute. So try not to feel bad about it and don’t force a frilly façade either. Pretending is almost worse than being in a down mood, not just for you but everyone around you too.
For many, the Christmas season symbolises joy and excitement. We might be grown but that doesn’t mean Santa isn’t around the corner buckling his boots. Because that’s what Christmas is really about; imagination and excitement, no matter how old you are.
Except that’s not the reality for everyone. For some people, Christmas can cripple you with fear of expenses and not being enough. There’s a pressure to reach the expectations portrayed in films, to have a gloriously decorated tree with a litter of presents.
To have your family in merry matching Christmas jumpers that itch and clash with your usual fashion. We all have this ideal vision of ‘The Perfect Christmas’ that just doesn’t suit reality. It can be a bit of a downer in all honesty, but the purpose of this season isn’t to show and tell.
It’s to feel and know.
To feel that you have survived one of the most catastrophic years we’ve faced in a while. To know that no matter how you’re feeling right now, good days are lying in wait ahead of us. Nothing has been easy this year, so don’t expect the ice covering you to thaw at some tinsel.
Find comfort in knowing you’re not alone in these feelings. I’ve always found the Christmas season to be intimidating because of my own expectations. We create these scenarios in our head of disappointing people when in reality, half of them don’t even have any expectations.
And if they do, and they feel they haven’t been reached, shame on them.
No one can expect anyone to strive to please others. That is not what Christmas is about, it’s about being grateful for what you have. May that be a lot or a little, we should be proud of what we’ve provided for ourselves.
Yes, tis the season to be jolly. However, let’s not forget emotions cannot be controlled by the seasons. Some students are probably still buried under an avalanche of assignments and exams, reaching for the end of the line to celebrate.
When really, you should be celebrating what you’ve overcome so far.
And that feels stupid, I know it; we all know it. That doesn’t make it any less true. If you’ve managed to make to December with some sense of rationality and sanity, then pat yourself on the back. We’ve been through a lot this year, learned a lot, grown a lot.
No one said it would be easy, we all knew it would be hard, but here we are.
There are always going to be people who will tell you what they think. Does that mean what they say is worth anything? Not really. So, if someone tells you that you’re being overly sensitive, tell them to mind their own business.
People show their feelings in different ways. Whether that be blasting that primed Christmas playlist or reading a book. Not everything has to be centred around Christmas, there’s a whole day to celebrate the old man in red.
For example, I used to hate Christmas music. Not because it was always about snow, Santa or love, but because of what I associated it with. And those were things I knew weren’t in my life and wouldn’t spontaneously appear.
It takes time to realise that none of the aesthetic things you think matter, actually don’t. All that matters this season, like any other, is happiness. Whether it’s your own, your friends, or your family’s.
Like every other season, this is about you.
And it’s up to you to celebrate how you want. If you don’t want to sit around building gingerbread houses because you loathe ginger, join in with a mug of hot chocolate. There are ways to be festive whilst stepping outside the traditional jolly activities.
Just don’t let your holiday be ruined by expectations. The moment you make them is the moment you’re ruined. Enjoy the season by focusing on things you enjoy and reminding yourself of that what brings you the best feelings.
Featured image credit: Colesclassroom.com
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.