Do you hate the Holiday season????

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kadywill, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I have a lot of issues dealing with Thanksgiving and Christmas and I dread the holiday season so much every year. I never know how I'll feel when it comes time to shop, buy, wrap, etc. and I'm always dissappointed that I don't have the "Norman Rockwell" family gatherings. My parents are no longer living and my children are grown and live out of town. I usually have to work on Christmas or Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving. Everyone talks about all they're going to cook and bake and all of the folks coming to spend the holidays with them and I feel really saddened by the whole thing. Money is often a concern, too, and I hear about how much everyone is spending on their family and I just can't imagine going into debt for this like others are. Am I so different? I remember as a child I heard my mother expressing the same feelings and I thought, "How sad...Christmas is such a happy, joyeous time. I'll never be like her!" But, I am.
    Is this due to my pain and fatigue or am I suffering from SAD? I refuse to go an an antidepressant for this. No option! I hate feeling sorry for myself and I refuse to allow myself to be a victim.
    Any advice on ways to liven up, smile and really enjoy this time of year? I am a Christian and I know the "true meaning" of this season, but I can't enjoy what we have made it become. I avoid all conversation dealing with the holidays and people notice how I react. Please advise if you can!
    Love,
    Kady
  2. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I have a lot of issues dealing with Thanksgiving and Christmas and I dread the holiday season so much every year. I never know how I'll feel when it comes time to shop, buy, wrap, etc. and I'm always dissappointed that I don't have the "Norman Rockwell" family gatherings. My parents are no longer living and my children are grown and live out of town. I usually have to work on Christmas or Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving. Everyone talks about all they're going to cook and bake and all of the folks coming to spend the holidays with them and I feel really saddened by the whole thing. Money is often a concern, too, and I hear about how much everyone is spending on their family and I just can't imagine going into debt for this like others are. Am I so different? I remember as a child I heard my mother expressing the same feelings and I thought, "How sad...Christmas is such a happy, joyeous time. I'll never be like her!" But, I am.
    Is this due to my pain and fatigue or am I suffering from SAD? I refuse to go an an antidepressant for this. No option! I hate feeling sorry for myself and I refuse to allow myself to be a victim.
    Any advice on ways to liven up, smile and really enjoy this time of year? I am a Christian and I know the "true meaning" of this season, but I can't enjoy what we have made it become. I avoid all conversation dealing with the holidays and people notice how I react. Please advise if you can!
    Love,
    Kady
  3. Cactuslil

    Cactuslil New Member

    I am in one of my worst depressions in my 53 years and try to look past this to the "NewYear"; it will be my third year since 21 years of age not to play a band job.

    I am trying to plan a little trip with my son to the PineWoods where I spent many a joyous thanksgiving and christmas where my paternal grandparents lived. He would find it beautiful and since I homeschool it would also be educational. The first year I did not play a NewYear's Eve gig we, my daughter and young one (he's 10) went to the Texas Coast and drove then stopped and climbed the dunes; took funky pics of flamingo's with Christmas wreaths. It was thusfar the most joyous NewYear I've had. We three sat there, with a miracle built fire and sang 'Ole AungSeine (sp!) to the miracle of a full moon and low tide!

    I asked someone the other day how it was that holiday traditions continued when parents, grandparents had crossed over; where there were no children...and they just could not understand where I was coming from......What of America's children overseas? The answer? There have always been wars! I told them truly and with honesty I would pray for those American's...I'll pray for us too. Love Cactus'
  4. dorothyanne

    dorothyanne New Member

    I too am a Christian and my best memories of childhood Christmases were the candlelit Christmas Eve church service. The rest of it was painful. I had an alcoholic father, who was disabled from the war, so money was really tight. My mother always did her best to provide some semblance of Christmas for my brother and I, but we never knew whether dad would be drunk, have spent all the month's pension on booze, etc. Now both my parents are gone.

    My late husband always spent more than we could afford (as do many people), mainly to buy peoples' affection. Money was always in too little supply when we were raising our 3 kids, so it was majorly stressful to provide the kind of Christmas my husband felt the family should have.

    Now, money is even tighter than before as I'm supporting myself on an inadequate disability pension. I have 1 child (24 year old son) still at home with me, and the other 2 live a few hours away. My daughter is married to a guy who makes big bucks, so whenever I've spent Christmas with them, I have felt like the "poor relation" -- which of course I am. They have a 1 yr old son -- my first grandbaby -- and I can't afford the kind of gifts the baby's other grandparents do. Plus, I may not even get to see him at Christmas time this year. That is breaking my heart!

    My other son always comes home for a few days for Christmas, but this may be the last time as he is getting married next year.

    So, I'm in my yearly major depression, as are a lot of others. I've increased my anti-depressant by 50% as I was taking the bare minimum dose. Hopefully, it will kick in before long.

    Can't you tell I was really ready to vent on this topic!!

    Lil, my late husband played in a dance band (big band music) for all the years we were together until about 5 years before he died. The New Year's Eve dances were eagerly anticipated by me, even though I rarely got to dance. I loved the music and watching the people dancing. Now, New Year's Eve doesn't mean too much to me. I do always look forward to the start of the new year, optimistically feeling that it will be better than the last.

    There was a post on the ChitChat board last weekend about Christmas that put me into a major funk, but I am starting to have an attitude adjustment to try to cope better with the holiday season.

    Love and gentle hugs, Dorothyanne

  5. Billie

    Billie New Member

    My husband and I struggled with infertility for 10 years until we were blessed with our adopted son. Those years, especially the last 3, I hated the holidays. Everything seemed focused on children and families. One year, I decided not to decorate or anything, I was a total grouch that whole holiday season. It was awful. My parents were never really into the holidays and there is so much stress going on with my husbands side of the family, that we hate to go over there. So more and more, we have had to concentrate on our small little family and make our own traditions and make it as special as we can.

    I would say, being ill and depressed would effect your enjoyment of the holidays, but it doesn't have to ruin it. I know I used to work at the retail stores, before I got ill, and the first few years I did this I really enjoyed all the excitement of the holidays. But my last year working there, I really got a negative attitude with all the materialism aspect. Because you are a Christian as I am, you have the best reason to celebrate the holidays. Try to focus on the postives. Think of all the people with no one to love, no home to live in, no money at all, those in nursing homes with no one to vistit them, the terminally ill children. Then think of all that we have. Not just the things, but the freedoms we enjoy here. I am not trying to preach. These are just some of the things I would think of to help me remember the real meaning of the season.

    We get what WE put into it. Consider visiting the hospitals, or nursing homes. I have done that before, and it always makes me feel better about my own situation and it extremely rewarding.

    I pray that you can find some way to enjoy this holiday season........

    Billie
  6. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    This year I'm a little better and can go out to shop. However I keep my Christmas celebration small, since my divorce. Some of my kids will be here, but my oldest may not.

    We always go to a Christmas Eve service at church. We have to get there very early in order to find a seat in the sanctuary. Last year was the worst ever and we had to sit in the narthex, which beat the fellowship hall!

    On Christmas we exchange gifts. My kids are all short on cash, so we keep it pretty simple. I've already gotten my oldest's gift. He wanted us to pay for membership and fees so he can attend a conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It's being held in NY, so he won't have to travel or pay for a hotel. I told him to ask for administrative leave so he doesn't have to use his own. I attended one of these conferences when I was teaching preschool and they are wonderful.

    We'll play Christmas music and may go out for dinner. It will be simple and full of meaning and traditions we have done for years.

    Barbara
  7. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I WORK in a nursing home every day for at least 8 hours... I see the people you mentioned each and everyday, so this isn't the answer. I do appreciate what I have; I know that I have been blessed in many ways; I love the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I usually work on the holidays because I would just RATHER be there than to be at home without my children or parents, but it still hurts to be around all of the hoopla! My husband and I may just have to start going to our favorite place, Ocracoke Island, over the holidays. Our grown children are always rushing about to see all of their relatives and their spouse's relatives, so it's impossible to be with them. You see, their father and I divorced and are each remarried, so the kids spend a lot of time with his parents and their family. The kids resent all of this traveling, but they feel as if they have to see their grandparents and their in-laws and step-parent's families so we can't even see them in their own homes...they are never there. I hate asking them to travel even more and visit us, too. My son works in the Christmas Tree business, so Thanksgiving starts his busy season and he is very tired by Christmas. If I am not scheduled to work on the holidays, we travel to see my husband's father and siblings, but this is often stress-filled and traveling there is so hard on us that I'd rather not do it. I like the idea of just leaving town and forgetting the holidays...sounds good to me.
    Love,
    Kady
  8. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I no longer have the energy to entertain friends. I would love to do a big cooking thing for the holidays and have people over, but I'm just not well enough. I haven't even been to a party in years. I really miss it. But I try to ignore what everyone else does on the holidays, all the commercialism of the season, and I try to remember what the holidays are supposed to stand for. I do try to be grateful for the things I do have. But I do find the holidays a bit depressing. I'm always wishing they were over already.

    TeaBisqit
  9. HOUSEOFBLUES

    HOUSEOFBLUES New Member

    I remember how much fun Christmas was every year when I was a child. We never had much money either because it was just my Mom and I living with my Grandma and Grandpa.
    But we always had a lot of relatives and Family around that made it special. I came from a typical Italian Family and I
    miss those days like crazy. I can remember my Mom and Grandma cooking up a storm for the Holidays.....
    The Italian Christmas cookies my Grandma used to bake; the traditional Christmas eve dinner of all specially prepared dishes; the candlelight masses at the old Catholic church;
    my Grandpa sneaking into the pantry for little glasses of wine for him and I when he thought Grandma wasn't looking;
    Everyone coming over to celebrate and have a good time eating, drinking, singing, playing cards, etc....
    But now those days are gone and not a day goes by that I don't wish that I could be together with everyone again....
    So yes, I know what it feels like to be blue around the holidays, But I just try and make the best of it.
    I even told my husband that one of these christmases we should just take off and go to Vegas and just stay in the lounges gambling until the holiday passes. lol.
    So here's to another "Norman Rockwell" Christmas.........

    LOVE,
    HOUSEOFBLUES[This Message was Edited on 11/07/2002]
  10. Duffsangel

    Duffsangel New Member

    I love the holiday season. I do get irratated with all the commerialism, and I do miss going to the parties, and entertaining guests, but I really love this time of year. I can understand your depression though. Unfortunately, I think it is a very common way to feel around the holidays. It seems like we hear about depression more and more, especially around holidays.
    My advice to make time for the simple things, like go driving around and look at Christmas lights. This is a tradition with us! We also bake and decorate cookies...sometimes over several days, but they get done! We also find creative ways to wrap the presents, or send the kids on a scavenger hunt for their gifts. They love it! Make hot chocolate for everyone, and watch "Its a Wonderful Life". I hope you are able to enjoy the season.
    Take care,
    Duff
  11. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    for all of you who are down during this season. I know quite a few people who become very depressed at this time of year. I love the season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years...I pretty much agree with what Duffsangel posted above. I don't have a lot of money, and this year is particularly tight. I'm the one in my family who *inherited* the responsibility of hosting the family holiday dinners, and the last few years I've bowed out on a few because I wasn't up to it. But it truly is a gift for me to have all of my kids and my grandbaby, my mom, my sisters if they are in town, just the people I care about, all in one place at one time, for a few hours. When I started doing these family dinners almost 20 years ago, I extended the invitation to friends of family members, who had no family themselves, or nowhere to go, so they wouldn't have to be alone at that time of year. Many years my sister or one of my kids brought a total stranger into my house for Christmas dinner, and it made me feel so good to be able to give them what I considered a gift, of having a *family* of sorts to be with for that day.
    Material presents are not what makes me happy during the holidays, it is honestly just being close to the people I love and having that time to spend with them, even though I don't go all out with the dinner, decorations and preparations like I used to do. And I feel fortunate, in that none of them expects much of me these days.
    Kadywill, I wish I had some great advice for you. How about just letting your extended family know that you would love to be with them for Christmas and maybe suggest doing something a little different this year? One year we did a potluck type thing, everyone brought something, it wasn't *traditional* Christmas dinner, but it worked out just fine. Another year we did finger foods....cold cuts, vegie trays, stuff like that. You can make it whatever you want, and you don't have to expend a lot of time, money and energy. The important thing is to feel good enough to enjoy just being with all of your loved ones, and you don't have to give the most expensive gifts, put on the most elaborate dinner, have the best-decorated house, etc. to do that. Keep it simple, keep it stress free, and be happy.
    :)
    [This Message was Edited on 11/07/2002]
  12. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I would LOVE to do this, but, as I said, my family won't be here. My children will be elsewhere and I have no one else. My husband's siblings and father celebrate at their home and, as I also said, we aren't comfortable there. We have no one to come here and bring covered dishes. See, this is what's so sad. We have no family to get together. It isn't the same with just my husband and myself. Why do it at all? Everyone else I know will be with THEIR families and I wouldn't think of inviting ourselves to their homes.
  13. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    I'm sorry, I guess I misunderstood, and there I was going on and on about keeping it simple. :-( How far away are your kids? Is there any way at all any of them would be able to come?
    I have to tell you, if you were a friend of mine locally, and I knew you would be without family and lonely at that time of year, you would certainly be welcome to spend the holiday with me and my family!
  14. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    We are always disappointed when the focus is on "I". Christmas is most fulfilling when we look to others, when we strive to make them feel special, and loved.
    Billie wasn't off at all with her suggestions. It just happened to be that one group in need, that you responded to, was one that you labor and work with. She mentioned many other groups in need during the holiday season, the homeless, chronically ill children, the impoverished in your hometown, those separated from their family, for whatever reason. Karen's advice was great. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas, inviting a stranger into your home to celebrate, who otherwise might find themselves feeling alone.
    This is the true meaning of Christmas. This is how Christmas can be joyous and fulfilling. On Christ's Birth Day, what a better way to serve Him, than by exhibiting Christ's love, through you. It is not about....
    I loved Christmases when I was a child because...
    I am lonely at Christmas because my children are elsewhere..
    My husband and I are alone...so we just go away...to pass the time.....
    Certainly all our great Christmas stories, those which tug on our heart strings, every year when we watch them, are those with the simple message; Giving, simple and pure giving of yourself to another. It doesn't have to be expensive, lavish, or exhausting. Look for the need around you, it is ever present. Drive to the most impoverished area in town, picking the most dilapidated home. Knock on the door Christmas Eve, and hand them a turkey, wishing them a Very Merry Christmas. Visit A Children's Hospital, with a batch of homebaked cookies, and a smile. Ask the single mother next door, who works full time, and has a house full of children, how you can help her, this Christmas. Perhaps you could take one of her little ones to do their shopping for mommy. Nothing like the love in a child's eyes when they are trying their best to express their love, through a small, simple gift.
    This year, at our home, one of our guests will be missing, he has journeyed home. He was 72 this June when he passed, and had spent the last five Christmas Days with us. He had no friends, and was estranged from his family. He had spent all of his adult life alone during the holidays. He was odd to most people, seldom bathed, an eccentric gentleman. Each Christmas morn, after we met, he would phone us, as excited as a child, and tell us, he was ready to be picked up; he had never learned to drive. There won't be an empty chair at the table where he used to sit, this year. He, too would want that chair filled. Merry Christmas, Jim, we miss you.
  15. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I absolutely LOVE the holiday season! We have such a blast at our house and everyone goes all out to have fun and get together.

    Marilyn :)
  16. whsechick

    whsechick New Member

    ...with Karen2002. I absolutely LOVE the Holidays! But I'm not here for me, I understand kadywill, how you may not want to go and 'do' for others. If it's not whats in your heart, then it may not satisfy your Christmas need. You say you won't have your family there with you, what about your husband? Why can't the two of you enjoy the holidays together? Bake, cook, decorate, give gifts. Just the two of you. A candlelight christmas dinner, with just the two of you can be a wonderful new tradition.

    I hope everything works out for you.
    God Bless,
    whsechick
  17. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    I have been there, and done that....as you say---so I have experienced the loneliness, the rejection of family, and the heartache that it entails. I didn't miss the point.
    I spent most of my life resenting, and being saddened by the abuse, neglect, and disfunctionality, that pervaded my family life, which always came to a pinnacle, and reared it's ugly head during the holidays times, especially.
    But their comes a pivotal point, when one must say, I can go on this way, being bitter, sad, and feeling abandonment, or I can take the steps necessary to fix this broken wheel.
    I can chose happiness over those other emotions. Once the focus is taken off of "I".....once the focus is taken off of what everyone has "done to me"....once I am no longer a victim, letting others control my emotions---HOT DAMN!!! I am having a blast. I am making new Christmas memories, I am trying to make others joyous and happy...hell, I am just not a sad sack, anymore, wanting to avoid the season. I can delight in it. I lost too many years, to waste anymore, with my depression, self pity, avoidance, and isolation. I say Felice Navidad! So no, I no longer hate the holiday season, and want to stick my head in the sand like an ostrich, or self medicate to dull the pain. I want to enjoy this season, with the eyes of a child, in wonderment. So ---yes, Chocolat---I have been there--done that---I just chose not to do it anymore.
    Karen
  18. HOUSEOFBLUES

    HOUSEOFBLUES New Member

    For "What used to be", "What could have been" , "What never was", and "What cannot be" seems to invade people's thoughts around the Holidays....That's why it's called the "Blues".
    Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of "Family". I celebrate Christmas with what is left of my husband's side of the family and our neighbors who do not have any family. I love all these people dearly, and I enjoy them
    not only for the holidays but all thru the year.
    But I still yearn for the Christmas's of past, when my own family was still here and nothing can ever replace that.
    It's possible to still feel lonely in a crowd of people.
    All of you who still have your family about you should give thanks they are still around and treasure each moment spent with them....

    For Kadywill, yes it's possible you could be suffering from SAD and need some sort of anti-depressant. There is also something called a "'LIGHT BOX'" that is used thru the winter months to help with SAD. Talk to your Doctor about this and see if your Insurance will cover the cost of one.

    My heart goes out to you because I know what you're feeling.
    Let's try real hard not to let it get us down.......

    LOVE,
    HOUSEOFBLUES
  19. HOUSEOFBLUES

    HOUSEOFBLUES New Member

  20. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    for the advice, love, compassion and kick in the butt. I agree that I am a little self-absorbed at this time. I am a giver year-round and I feel like everyone SHOULD be. Should I apologize for wanting this to be reciprocated by my loved ones? A victim? I think not, but I'll take what info I can use and I'll just leave the rest for others to use if needed. I will try make it a good season for my husband and I, but I, too, am wistful for what "should have or could have been" and I don't think I should beat myself up over the way I feel. I am limited somewhat by my health and finances to provide Christmas for the needy around me any more than I normally do at church, the nursing home and the Children's Home where I lived as a child. However, as Chocolat so wisely put it, this does nothing to alter the fact that I am lonely for MY family; my kids, my grandkids, my stepkids, my brothers and my parents. Please forgive my childishness over this matter that may seem selfish to many. I'll be back to myself in the spring. Meanwhile, I'll try to be an adult.

    Love,
    Kady