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I want to Boycott the Holidays All Together. Who is With Me?

How about a holiday boycott?

I know, I know, I sound like the Grinch or Scrooge: “Ba humbug.” Hang in with me for a minute, and see if you can understand what I am suggesting.

I love the smell of pine from the Christmas trees that travel from Upstate New York or Pennsylvania to fill our New York City streets. I like the feeling of celebration and nesting that seems to blow through in November and December.

But, what I do not like is all the dang pressure for the holidays. I hate the pressure to have a picture-perfect holiday season. I hate the constant images of families around a turkey, laughing hysterically. I hate the pictures of people overjoyed with that perfect gift that will make everything ok. I hate how right about now my clients start coming in with feelings of guilt, dread and fear about the holidays. I hate how there are months in the year when we are told to act jolly, grateful and festive.

As you can tell I have strong feelings about this.

What if we do not feel happy, or abundant? What if we just lost someone we cared about and this is our first holiday without them? What if we are so stressed about seeing our toxic family members we feel sick to our stomach? What if we just lost our job and cannot buy gifts for our kids? What if we are so worried about the state of our country, Mother Earth and those who are consistently marginalized that we do not want to celebrate?

Well, then we feel bad. We feel like we are wrong to feel bad and we get depressed.

The holidays are the most difficult time in my practice. People feel their normal fluctuations of feelings and then get messages from others and from that media that this is supposed to be the happiest time of year. So do me a favor and try this: Think for a moment about a sad event in your life. Really take a moment to feel it in your body and in your heart. Notice that feeling.

Now, say to yourself, “Come on, cheer up!”

Notice what you feel.

Do you lighten up and feel better? If you are like most people you do not. In fact, you likely get more sad and your body gets more constricted. Telling yourself to snap out of it or feel better does not help. So, what if this holiday season instead of “happy holidays” you said “enjoy whatever your holiday days bring.” I know, not the most catchy for a Hallmark card, but much more in sync with our lives.

Maybe we don’t have to boycott the holidays, but we can change our approach to them. Let them be what they are. That is perfect. I would love to hear about a time you felt pressured to stop feeling one way and to “get with the program.” Share with me in the comments below. I cannot wait to hear.

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels


What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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