While it is marketed as the most magical time of the year, and some people wish it could happen every day, Christmas can be difficult time for many people. Elizabeth Attfield, a mother to an autistic son, has written an interesting blog called Surviving Christmas – One Family’s Perspective on Coping with the Festive Season. She points out that it is challenging to balance everyone’s needs at Christmas time. Her conclusion was that enforced jollity can literally be hell.
We’re are often frightened by the images of Scrooge, the Grinch or anyone who feels negative about Christmas. Last year, Dave Skinner published a book entitled A Snowflake’s Guide to Christmas: How to survive a deeply problematic holiday. This was described as a tongue-in-cheek book but might be seen as poking fun at some people. “Snowflake” is a slang term for an easily offended person who cannot deal with opposing opinions. Having been accused of being a Snowflake myself, I feel able to defend snowflakes everywhere. I argue that we place too many expectations on ourselves at Christmas and on the day itself.
For many families, the build-up to Christmas begins months before the actual event. Young children are whipped up into a frenzy by targeted advertising and the unreasonable expectations of others. Unfortunately, what often transpires is that the pressures around Christmas can create more unhappiness than yuletide joy.
So, if you feel down or lonely this Christmas, remember that you are not alone! Furthermore, it is essential to remember that lack of company is not a character fault, and solitude does not necessarily lead to misery. Having said all that, here are some helpful links if you, a close relative or a friend need support over the festive period.
This Morning, the ITV programme, also published some helpful phone lines. Please remember that these were published last year, so they may not be the same this year.
And finally, a valuable support service for people struggling with cannabis addiction is Marijuana Anonymous UK.
So I wish you Happy Winterval in good old fashioned snowflakism!