Making It Through The Holidays

5 Dec

“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray . . . “

Well our leaves are gone, not brown, and the sky is definitely gray, and most likely will be until April.


Holidays are tough for me.  They have been since my teen years.  I suspect I’m not alone in that statement.  I don’t know what the classic dysfunctional family looks like exactly, but I suspect quite a few of us can give particulars which add up to the whole, and I’m sure my dis-ease during the holidays traces back to family.

To overcome this malaise and semi-depression, in the past, I’ve consumed copious amounts of alcohol. That is no longer an option for me, not for the past eleven years, so to compensate I either get real grumpy or I attempt to act like nothing at all is wrong, everything is wonderful, and by God we are going to have the greatest Christmas ever, with presents and decorations and forced gaiety.

It has only been in the past couple years that I’ve come to realize it’s okay to be depressed and out-of-sorts.  I don’t have to act like I’m enjoying Christmas if I don’t want to.  It’s not my responsibility to make sure everyone else around me is happy.  I can just be me.  I can own my feelings, deal with them the best I can, and keep marking off the days on the calendar until normalcy returns. And thank the gods I have a partner like Bev who allows that and totally understands that.

And I always have writing!

For me, writing is therapeutic.  Writing allows me to escape.  Writing gives me a release of the frustrations and sadness and yes, anger.  Writing is now my drug of choice and I will forever be grateful for it.

So this year I’m not going to kick myself in the butt for not putting lights up outside; I’m not going to feel bad about not buying more gifts for people;  and I’m not going to fake laughter or feign joy if it’s missing.

I’m just going to be me . . .

And write!

Happy Holidays to you all!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

29 Responses to “Making It Through The Holidays”

  1. Janine Huldie December 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    Aw, Bill I love that you did keep on writing and that it is like therapy for you. Also, it is A-OK in my book for you to feel whatever you do this tine of the year or any time for that matter. Still wishing you Happy Holidays, my friend 😉

    • Billybuc December 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Thank you Janine! I’ll do as well as I can and that will have to be enough.

  2. Carol Stanley December 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    All holidays are punctuation marks of our past. You may not know what you did APril 5, 2001 but you may remember either Easter or Christmas of that you. Sometimes holidays are tough for me because of some family issues. However being true to ourselves is what matters the most..and you are doing that.

    • Billybuc December 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Thank you Carol! I appreciate you stopping by and your support.

  3. Manatita December 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Thank God you feel this way.Christmas can feel so much like your toilet bowl!
    For some they are where they need to be. For us who have gone through this for so many years, it can be a real chore. After all, it’s not just singing at church on the day, is it? May the Supreme lift the weather and our moods. (Chuckle)

    • Billybuc December 5, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

      Blessings always, Manatita! I’ll make it through for sure, gritting my teeth all the way. 🙂

  4. Emese-Réka December 5, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    Bill, I can totally relate to this. For the longest time everyone in the family knew that sooner or later I would break down and cry during the holidays. It still happens. It’s just the way it is and everyone accepts it. There is something about the winter holidays that makes a lot of people depressed. And I don’t mean the weather, we have sunny skies and perfect weather finally here in the desert. Taking a walk helps (us, desert dwellers), but writing is indeed therapeutic.
    Be yourself and be grumpy if you need to. You’re lucky you have someone in your corner who understands. And of course, your writing community understands, too. You are only expressing most of our feelings, after all. 😉 By being so open and upfront about it, you are allowing those of us to feel the same to accept ourselves this time of the year.
    Happy Holidays. and mostly Happy Writing!

    • Billybuc December 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

      That is very sweet of you, Emese. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I will take your suggestions to heart.

      Blessings to you always!

  5. Mike December 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Merry Christmas Bill – Arggggghhhhh Enjoy these days as best you can. As we all do. And most definitely write. Then write some more. Did I mention Merry Christmas?

    • Billybuc December 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

      Mike yes, you did, but your heart wasn’t in it. LOL

  6. 1authorcygnetbrown December 5, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

    Writing has been an outlet for me too! Best prescription I ever was given for controlling depression!

    • Billybuc December 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      True words, Donna! I’m happy that you found writing.

  7. Sageleaf December 6, 2017 at 2:09 am #

    And nobody is youer than you who can be youer than you. 😀 The holidays…I get you. Anymore in the past few years, I’ve found my enjoyment of them has definitely waned and spending my time quietly (even though I simultaneously crave some human interaction sometimes) writing/painting/drawing makes me quite happy. 🙂 You keep doing what you do. It’s working. You’re awesome!

    • Billybuc December 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

      I love your first sentence, Lil Sis, and it is true. Be true to who I am and don’t give a hoot to what others think is the way to live. Hugs from chilly Olympia, Lil Sis, and a big old thanks.

  8. Andrea Stephenson December 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    You’re by far not alone finding the holidays difficult – the pressure to have a good time can make them even harder, so good for you for being true to the way you feel and embracing that.

    • Billybuc December 6, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

      Thank you for that, Andrea! I appreciate you!

  9. Sarah Potter Writes December 7, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Oh, a man after my own heart. I hate Christmas decorations and all that Disneyfied bling and blah.When I saw the first lights festooning people’s gardens on November 30th — yes, not even December! — I swore like a trooper as I drove past in my car. Then I said, what the hell? If they want to behave like prats, exhaust themselves, and spend too much money with their attempts to create a magical and impossible to achieve perfect Christmas, that’s their business and not mine. I am so glad that I participated in NaNoWriMo this year, because now I have a novel to finish working on, so at least I am doing something creative over Christmas, which means that I won’t be such a murky dismal. And I’ll do the singing I have to do and cook a wonderful Christmas dinner for three humans and a happy dog, then we’ll watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special on telly, and afterwards fall asleep reading some new books. Hey, ho, and that just about sums it up. Happy writing, my dear friend, and I will be thinking of you from time to time, knowing there are others like me out there ;-),.

    • Billybuc December 7, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

      Sarah, I love your description of it all. You, a murky dismal? LOL I have never heard that phrase, but now it will be with me forever. Thank you for the chuckle. May we both survive the holidays with our sanity intact. 🙂

  10. Michael Milec December 9, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

    Excellent uplifting spirit freeing message. People need to know!, The people need to know the power of freedom inserted within us by the Creator: use your own brain and let no one tell you of “celebrating holidays “.
    Hello my friend and good morning from this part of wintery cold snowing December’s present. You made it famous, “I can own my feelings,” – yes you can and we all do . . . Feelings come and go and these artificially promoted holidays moods are controlling masses telling them what and when to be “merry” you want/can be or not. A while ago to a UPS deliverer I sad “Merry saturday morning” – be very-merry as you can all the time.
    My heart goes with you, having your own “tradition” – celebration of this holiday season. Mostly you blessed me with your past eleven years of living uplifting lifestyle – never too late. I too have outgrown a past bondage of traditional religious “Christmases” man made artificial “Joy to the World”… Rather I have accepted the reason for the joy everyday and now I am never alone, often whistling those famous “silver bells, silver bells…” type as I am walking on the streets or a “silent night” on construction site make some people telling me “Isn’t christmas yet”.. .usually answering them “it’s a joy of good memories in my heart…”
    As long as we have each other, family, friends loving supporting and understanding – a higher value to be celebrated everyday.
    Have a most wonderful season of happily doing what you love to do. And merry whatever you celebrate . And for those of yours who do appreciate the season’s “spirit” – Merry Christmas anyway.

    • Billybuc December 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

      Michael my friend, that was beautiful, by far the best thing you have ever written to me. You are a good man, Michael, and I wish we could one day meet in person to share quality time together, two old warriors speaking of old battles and old conquests, while fully aware of salvation in the simplest things in life.

      Blessings always

      • Michael Milec December 11, 2017 at 2:41 am #

        Wouldn’t it be something ?! let’s leave possibility door open my friend. Many things are happen unexpectedly , hope is a marvelous value .

      • Billybuc December 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

        It would be something indeed, Michael my friend. I shall follow your advice and leave the door ajar.

  11. phoenix2327 December 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    And here I thought it was only me. We should form a club.

    I go through this every year. For my part, most of it can be attributed to my mood disorder. I always get down in the dumps when the weather turns and the festive season gets closer. It’s worse after the New Year because the weather gets more depressing and there’s nothing to look forward to till the sun returns. I have anti-depressants I can turn to when things get really bad, but they can only do so much.

    But, like you, I realised that the perfect Christmas isn’t about gaudy decorations, expensive gifts and the perfect turkey. It’s about being with those you care about and those who care about you. If they happen to be the same people, that’s a bonus. lol My favourite part is Christmas Eve. All the gifts are under the tree, the food is prepped and everyone is home. Maybe we’ll sit around together drinking hot chocolate and chatting. Or maybe the kids’ll play video games, I’ll be reading and my husband will watch a movie with lots of action and a high body count. Regardless, there is still that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing we will always be there for each other. That is our perfect Christmas.

    • Billybuc December 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

      Zulma, it sounds like a marvelously loving Christmas to me. Thanks for sharing it. I bury myself in work for the season; poke my head out occasionally to make sure nobody has died. LOL And you are right about the weather after Christmas; around here it gets downright ugly in January and February. Sigh!

      • phoenix2327 December 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

        Sigh, indeed. But the feeling I get when I look out the window at about 4:30 pm in early April and notice it’s light out is wonderful. I get a sense of accomplishment for having survived another winter. (Take that Mother Nature.) It’s even better if I can manage it without resorting to meds. 🙂

      • Billybuc December 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

        True words my friend. Take that Mother Nature!

  12. Dee December 19, 2017 at 4:08 am #

    Well, it is now near Christmas and your words are healing. Taking it one day at a time and learning to relax through the rush of the holiday season. Hope your Christmas is wonderful and peaceful.

    • Billybuc December 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you so much,Dee! Merry Christmas to you, my friend.

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