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Opinion: Holiday season brings joy to some but not all  

Kathryn Denett 

Holidays are a big part of people’s lives, but some people may see holidays as depressing instead of happy. Why may this happen? There are a lot of reasons as to why someone may not like the holidays. PsychCentral wrote an article “Hate the Holidays? Here Are 8 Ways to Cope and Find Joy This Year” which says that the suicide rate goes up as the year ends. This may not be known by many but those who are the bah humbug understand the pain of the season. 

The reason behind this pain usually comes from some sort of connected source or trauma says Oddesty K. Langham, MS, LPC, NCC. Kaytee Gillis, LCSW-BACS author of “Why the Holiday Season May Be Difficult for Trauma Survivors” says that trauma can bring the feeling of isolation during the holiday season. This is because celebrating the holidays when you experienced that trauma causes flashbacks to unhappy times and makes you feel depressed. So, people may honestly avoid celebrating certain holidays because of their pain. The hating of the holidays does not only come from trauma, but things pushed onto us. This could include spending money, being forced to attend a family gathering, being single, not having someone to celebrate with, etc… And those constructs can affect someone’s idea of the holidays. So, there are reasons as to why someone can become upset or angry at the season.  

These people have found ways to cope, and coping comes in many different forms and is found by the person themselves. For trauma survivors, they may celebrate in a unique way or not at all to make themselves feel better about the holiday. People may not spend or spend extraordinarily little and make the gift more about sentimental value than monetary value. Say no to attending that family event or find someone to be with, make a new friend. Walk into a café or restaurant and if you see someone sitting alone sit with them and make their day. Volunteer at the soup kitchen for Christmas and spread joy to all the ones who show up. Making someone else happy could trigger you to be happy. There are many more ways that people can cope with the holidays, and these are just a few ideas.  

Make the holiday season your own, do not give into social constructs, and do not be around people who you wish not to be around. The holidays are about joy and being happy and if there is a reason you are unhappy around the holidays try something new and break from your tradition. The overjoyed people are not the only ones who need to be happy, everyone does. To make this holiday break better if you are the bah humbug try something new to break habits. See what doing something new can do for you even if you do not volunteer at a soup kitchen or walk in and sit with a random stranger at a café or restaurant. Make someone else happy this season to see if it makes you happy.  

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