Declining a Christmas Pity Party

Declining a Christmas Pity Party

Declining a Christmas Pity Party

The following is an article by Laura Garren.  I love her honesty and hope it helps you however you feel today.  Happy Holy Days to each of you and Namaste…

by Laura A. Garren

            I must admit that I do not enjoy Christmas, as interpreted by popular culture and the advertising media. Furthermore, I mildly resent the aggressive cheerfulness that’s forced upon me this time of year. “Have a Merry Christmas!” people insist. My parents are dead, I have no children, and my husband is disabled. Christmas, for me, has historically not been a time good cheer but of bittersweet nostalgia.

            To avoid being labeled a scrooge, I will state that I do not begrudge anyone else their Christmas spirit, and I smile and return any Christmas greetings I receive.  I feel Charlie Brownish about the whole commercial aspect, but I try to keep my views to myself (with the present exclusion), and I decline to participate. Since I made the decision, many years ago, not to rush around in a panic at the mall trying to find the right gifts, I admit Christmas became a lot more pleasant for me.

            Then my mother died, and eight months later my husband Chuck suffered a stroke. Four Christmases have passed since, and they were pretty unpleasant. Everyone, or so it seemed, was happy but I. I indulged in a private Christmas Pity Party.

            This year, I feel differently. I turned a corner in 2011, when I decided I was going to let go of wanting life to be different. I accepted Chuck’s condition and my role as his caretaker. Then I set about doing positive things for myself that I hoped would engender positive feelings: I began writing again and I started practicing yoga.

My decision primed a well of positive outcomes, including increased physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. I have a sense of equilibrium that I have lacked, or never had, that enables me to stand apart from the Christmas chaos. I don’t feel left out or depressed this year. For the first time in my life, I declined to attend the annual Christmas Pity Party. I won’t say I’m jolly, but at least I won’t be sitting in the dark, sipping another drink, feeling sorry for myself.


Elizabeth Delaney