The Holidays Can Be Hard

Normally I am all about the Holidays. But this year I find myself not really in the Holiday spirit. When my Mom suggested that we put up the Christmas lights- My response was- I think I don’t want to do that this year. It’s just too much work. If we get the decorations out, we have to take them down. Who is this imposter? What have they done with Sarah?

Decorating my tree is normally done with Christmas music, and a lot of laughter

I have never experienced this lack of holiday cheer before. So I have spent some time reflecting on why I am becoming more of a grinch . Is this just what happens as you get older? I don’t think that’s it- my Dad loved Christmas until the day he died. In fact, everyday for the two weeks prior to his death he said “Merry Christmas! Today is Christmas”. This makes me incredibly sad- he died a few days before Christmas.

My daughter Kelly and her husband Donovan as they decorated the tree

When I went to my daughters house and it was time to decorate the Christmas tree- I enjoyed watching her and her husband decorate- I was happy to just watch. My daughter insisted I help. I did as she asked- but the giddy joy that I normally get, was missing.

I love Christmas! I would stay up most of the night preparing stockings. In the mornings I got up before everyone and baked a nice breakfast! I couldn’t wait for Christmas to start!

I have come to the realization that the holiday season marks the anniversary of many significant and difficult events in my life. I like many other people find this holiday season sad.

I normally get into the holiday spirit of all holidays!
  • On my Birthday November 24th four years ago I made the decision to divorce my husband of 20 years.
  • He returned from a business trip December 6th (our 20th anniversary) and I asked for a divorce. I should be clear- the divorce was a long time coming and the right thing tor both of us. I do not wish to be married to him. But it is a loss of my family. No one gets married and dreams about divorce.
  • Last year on November 25th I had to put my dog Boomerang down. The circumstances of his death were very traumatic – read my post silver linings for the full story. A year has passed and it feels like yesterday. I think I lost a big part of my soul when Boomer died. The one year anniversary of his death landed on Thanksgiving. I know this was a contributing factor, in making this year’s Thanksgiving very hard.
  • As I mentioned earlier my Dad died December 20th, 2018. It still makes me incredibly sad that he missed his last Christmas. I wish we had just celebrated with him a little bit everyday rather than correcting him of the date. 🥲
Boomer loved Christmas. He had his special Christmas toys – I loved shopping for him.

I realized that my grief was contributing to my lack of holiday Spirit. This is a common problem. We associate the holidays with our loved ones- and when we lose special people in our lives the holidays are not the same without them.

Mom and Dad always spent Christmas morning with me and my family!

But as I reflected, I realized my grief is only part of my lack of holiday cheer. I developed Chronic Fatigue after having COVID-19 July 7, 2020. My lack of energy also plays a role. The holidays are super fun! But they take a ton of energy. I just don’t have the energy, to do everything I would normally do. As a result, I find myself not caring about any of it. Honestly a lot of the time, I barely make it through my normal day; let alone the extra holiday stuff.

Last year I had a gingerbread making competition

Now that I have a better understanding of what is going on. I am giving myself the right to grieve. I am giving myself the permission to not do everything that I normally do for the holidays (I tend to go over the top). It’s ok- for me to do less. But I am going to try to enjoy the holidays with the people and dogs I have in my life. Just as much of my life has evolved over the years. It is okay, for the holidays to evolve as well. I will make adjustments in how I celebrate the holidays to reflect the changes in my energy and life.

On my birthday neither my daughter (she is recovering from surgery) or myself had much energy. So we celebrated by getting a Poke bowl and having a car picnic watching the surfers . It was nice! It gave us a low energy way to enjoy nature and each other’s company.

As you celebrate the holidays, remember they are difficult times for many. Remember to be kind to yourself and others. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. I am learning it’s okay to not be superwoman.

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