Christmas: best or loneliest time of the year?

It seems to me as though everyone either loves or hates this festive time of year. We either find ourselves launched into the madness of going to markets, shopping, eating delicious food and drinking (far too much), or we are lumped into the category of ‘Christmas Grinch.’ By the latter, I’m talking about what Mabel captures far better than I ever could, in her song ‘Loneliest Time of the Year’:  

Sorry I’m not so merry
But I feel like this yearly
Christmas time isn’t my vibe
Brings no joy into my life
Watch the snow as it’s falling
And I don’t feel a damn thing
Only darken the tree lights
Just another December night 

Sleigh bells ringing
Still I feel sad
It’ll have you thinking
Of all the things
That you don’t have

She’s not entirely wrong. Whilst this season is, I’m sure, wonderful in normal circumstances for those wanting to spend time with their loved ones, and those for whom Christmas holds religious significance, I can understand why many dislike the ‘vibe’ and the ‘lights’ of the festive period. I am partial to a walk amongst pretty lights, I am also able to acknowledge those who detest the commercialisation of the period. Not to mention, that gift-giving season only emphasises the divide between the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’ in a much harsher light. Especially children and those who can’t afford to give their families the Christmas that we see in advertising images everywhere. 

And we can’t forget how ‘cuffing season,’ where everyone seems to be perfectly coupled-up and in love, can have its impact of loneliness, mental health and self-esteem. Again, Mabel puts it best:

But I know
If I’m feeling lonely
I can’t be the only one
Drowning in my tears
So somebody show me
How am I supposed to have fun
At the loneliest time of year?
The loneliest time of year

I think what is so reassuring about her lyrics is her insistence that whoever may be listening is not alone. She captures what so many people undoubtedly feel at this time of year, and reminds us that to feel this way is okay. We don’t need to succumb to the melancholy, society deems necessary for anyone who is alone or single for Christmas. 

This message is of utmost necessity always, but particularly this year. Perhaps now everyone will understand the message of her song since we have felt and been more isolated than usual, understanding for just one minute how it feels to be alone. It’s such an important reminder that it is not mandatory to adore Christmas in the way society deems appropriate. It’s okay to be a Grinch, it’s okay to be indifferent, and it’s okay to love the season, and to love it entirely on your own in your own way. Christmas season is about being happy and appreciating what we have, the pressure to have the perfect Christmas is unnecessary but instead valuing what we have gained over the year and showing kindness is what the spirit of Christmas truly is.


Image by Valentin Petkov via Unsplash 

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