This should not be a time to be unhappy but it can be.

There are many reasons to be unhappy at Christmas.

  • It can bring back bad memories.
  • Even good memories can make you sad if you think those days won’t return.
  • Perhaps the pressure gets to you.
  • You might find relatives hard to get on with.
  • Some people don’t cope well with any break in the usual routine, even if they want a rest from work or whatever.
Are you unhappy because you try too hard?

I went through a time when I thought I ought to enjoy Christmas more than I did. This was partly because I was not a natural party animal but thought I ought to be. You might be surprised to learn that I often got less benefit from Christmas services in church than from a normal Sunday. The long build-up and excessive hype around all aspects of Christmas tend to make it almost impossible for the reality to match the expectation.

The trouble was that I was setting my own expectations too high and trying to be someone I wasn’t.

Happy and unhappy masks. Are you being yourself at Christmas?
Why am I not unhappy at Christmas nowadays?

I recognised the problem and began to laugh at myself. Now I just accept everything for what it is and decide to enjoy whatever events, religious or social, I go to, and to equally enjoy my time at at home. This lets me reject the pressure. Above all, I don’t beat myself up for not being as happy as I should be. I also try to remind myself of why I should be happy: Jesus’s birth.

So don’t be unhappy.

You might like to remind yourself of things I have written about happiness and to watch out for more on the subject in the New Year.