Decision Time – Christmas and Depression

Christmas tree
Larisa-K on Pixabay

Recently my grandma was asking me what I was planning on doing for Christmas, and it made me shudder inwardly.  Of course it didn’t help that her short-term memory is awful and she kept asking the same question over and over.  It’s not something I have any desire to think about, but I suppose I have to.

I used to love Christmas.  I loved putting up a Christmas tree, eating yummy Christmas goodies, listening to Christmas carols, watching Christmas movies, and spending time with my family.  It was never something stressful; rather, it was always one of the happiest parts of the year.  Depression has stolen that away, and this will be my third Christmas in a row just not giving a crap.

Last year I stayed at my Grandma’s over Christmas, and had Christmas dinner at my parents’ place.  My brother and his now-wife were there too, and it was just way too much.  Not that there was any real drama; it was just over-stimulating and a difficult reminder of how much depression has taken away from me.  It was really, really hard.

This year Grandma is in a care home.  My brother and his wife will be spending Christmas with her family.  So if I were to go home, it would be me and my parents, with me not even able to pretend to care, and my parents pretending not to notice me not caring.  Grandma would probably spend Christmas with my uncle, but my parents wouldn’t be involved in that because my mom never had much contact with her brother but even less since me dad threw a random shit-fit at him a couple years ago and has refused to see him since.

Probably I will end up staying put and doing nothing for Christmas.  Putting up the tree seems like more effort than I have any interest in spending, but maybe I’ll string up some Christmas lights in my bedroom.  And maybe I’ll making some of my favourite Christmas baking classics, like shortbread cookies and butter tarts (which apparently is a Canadian thing – I don’t know why the rest of the world hasn’t caught on).  Maybe I’ll gain 10 pounds from drowning my sorrows in rum and eggnog.  ‘Tis the season, after all.

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45 thoughts on “Decision Time – Christmas and Depression”

  1. I know how you feel, and I don’t even celebrate Christmas. The holiday/winter season, in general, is difficult. Meeting family, attending parties, trying to arrange fun activities for the the kids. Every winter, I stumble through it all in a haze, but it gets harder and harder to pretend. Sending you love and positive vibes.😊

  2. You already know we travel to run away from it all. (This year to your country! But, I forget which province you live in?) You’ve now added “butter tart” to the list of foods I must try while there. Until then, yay egg nog. Drink enough of it and people will think you have Christmas spirit. I know this for a fact. 😉

  3. Eh. It’s too early to worry about it in any case. December 1st is plenty soon enough IMHO. Like you I’m ‘meh’ about the whole thing, BUT. Not to sound overly wise or advice giving….I’d give a whole lot to have another Christmas to spend with my parents. They’ve been dead a long time now and it always makes me more depressed because I don’t have them here. At the time? I was like you and didn’t care for the drama and angst that always accompanied the ‘holidays’…someone was always mad at someone else and my mother alternated between extremely happy and charming and the bitch that we all knew dwelt in her brain and would expose itself as soon as something didn’t go her way. It was exhausting. But it’s colder and a whole lot more lonely without all that too. My siblings have families of their own and we’ve never been a real huggy type family, so there’s no magic for me anymore. So I stay home. I get the movies lined up that I want to watch, I make something special for me to eat and I listen to the music I want to. I MAKE it a ‘good’ day despite the darkness that threatens around the edges. I cry a lot too. I hope you find a good compromise. The depression is always there, but can only invade if we invite it in. Maybe the rum and eggnog is a good way to start?

  4. Holidays are difficult with the pressure to have a lot of fun plans and be with family. I definitely encourage you to make those cookies, maybe even watch a few good Christmas movies? Or go out and look at some Christmas lights! These are all low effort things that might bring you some joy. I’m sorry this is a tough time. Do you have any friends that you might be able to spend the holiday with?

  5. I’ve really been in the holiday mood this year, but other years I’ve been totally too depressed to want to celebrate at all. I hope your spirits rise as the season goes on.

  6. now that is real
    and to the point
    bottom line
    it is about love
    or the lack of it
    what is love Ash?
    why are you here?
    why am i here?
    was i an accident?
    why do we talk here.
    i know do you?
    so words?
    good day!

  7. I don’t know why holidays/festivals bring there own share of depression as we grow old. It’s more work and pressures, taunts and uncalled for drama than happiness.
    You are not alone.
    Wish I could come over (that came to my mind after reading you havent given up on idea of cooking something)

    And you have all of us annoying people here all the time 🤗

  8. I can understand you. I still love Christmas but somehow less than years before. This Christmas marks 6 years since my break up from my first love and I still remember those bad times. You just have to do what feels good to you 🍀😊 The holiday season is also a very lonely season and many people commit suicide in these days so for me it’s also important to help someone in need. That’s also the Christmas spirit. I sometimes also think that isn’t at all about the presents and food. Of course, I like it but Christmas is that time to be there for someone and love each other. I love you 💕

    1. That’s got to be very hard to have a difficult memory associated with what’s supposed to be a positive time of year. You make a very good point about helping someone in need, and I should take some time to think about how I can do that. Love you ❤️

  9. I hate going home for the Holidays and prefer to spend time with just close friends or my daughter. There is a lot of pressure around the holidays and not to mention the loudness and over stimulation like you mentioned! Find a good book, take a bath and enjoy yourself!

  10. Your plan sounds just about right, a few fairy lights to make your place look cosy and welcoming, and home baked treats. A short phone call with your parents (if that’s your thing) and the rest of the day to do exactly as you please… if you haven’t seen it The Muppet Christmas Carol is a great film!

  11. There are so many people alone and depressed on Xmas why don’t u throw a Xmas party and invite everyone, bet everyone would be so happy to come along xx

  12. I understand how you feel completely this is the first christmas I have been dreading- it always been my favourite time of year but this year would rather be doing anything else. Thanks for sharing, It’s always comforting to hear stories very similar to our own.

  13. When down in the dumps and nothing else to do, volunteer somewhere to serve dinner to people or to to give gifts to children in need. It’s amazing the repairs it makes to your own soul to help others when you yourself feel broken.

  14. I get where you’re coming from. My maternal grandmother has Alz and just broke a hip, so it’s hard to see her, especially since she doesn’t know what’s going on. My dad lost his brother last year, and Christmas is hard without him. It also doesn’t help to have depression. You’re strong and no matter what choice you make, everybody loves you. Making your own cookies and chilling out sounds like a nice time. <3

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