Can I be real with y’all for a second? Is it just me or does it seem like the holiday season is not holiday-ing the way it used to? I was so excited for Thanksgiving dinner because I baked my first infamous sweet potato pie—by myself, btw—using my Grandma’s recipe and everything (and before I finish this story, know that my pie was bussin’ good). But as I was baking my pie, I realized something was missing.
I live in Los Angeles now, but I flew home to Jersey to be with my family just to make sure I didn’t get low-key depressed (I tend to get a lil’ dramatic). Even being home, though, I still found myself extremely sad. I thought maybe I needed to add a lil’ razzle dazzle, so I threw on The Jackson 5 Christmas Carol to get the vibes going. (It ain’t the holiday if the tunes don’t hit, and Motown gets the job done.) I had my family, the music, and the smell of the food, but at the end of the day it all just seemed forced for me.
I could not help but wonder: If the vibes were off right now, then what is Christmas going to feel like? As joyous as the holiday season was for me as a child, the pressure of grown-up life can really dictate how you feel around this time of year.
I am someone who is extremely grateful for the small things, so I didn’t understand why I felt like something was missing. Was I being spoiled? Why do I feel empty? To keep myself grateful, I started to think about what others could be dealing with during the holidays. Some people are reminded of lost loved ones who have ascended. Some people do not have strong relationships with their day-ones or even a solid family to be thankful for. It can be depressing scrolling social media, seeing everyone with their families for the holiday, and realizing you have to spend it by yourself.
Some people are struggling financially, so much so that they can’t participate in a Secret Santa gift swap because the lights got to stay on, there is barely bread on the table, and that open oven door at night is keeping the house warm. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of broke Christmases, so I know the choir hears me right now. And let’s not even talk about the relationship pressures.
If you’ve been dealing with someone for at least 6 months, and you don’t get an invitation to spend Christmas together? Nine times out of 10, know that it ain’t even that serious. Or, let’s say you do spend holidays together—matching pajamas for Christmas Eve, gift exchange and everything. But as soon as you try to post that beautiful moment, they deny the tag as if you don’t even exist. (Yeah Sis, it’s definitely giving audacity and situationship.) Every year people wait for the holiday season to either validate or invalidate the love they have for their significant other. (Imagine: here’s MoneyBagg Yo gifting Ari another G-wagon in her name, and your S.O. opted to not get you a gift at all? Yikes!)
After sorting through all these problems that arise during the holiday season, I knew immediately why I felt unfulfilled. I am at ‘that age’ where I am not married, and I don’t have any children, which is odd in my family because everyone is married by 25 with kids by 30. Marriage and children are like a badge of honor, so to come together with my siblings and cousins and see the families that everyone’s created—I kind of felt unaccomplished for the first time…
But then I had to shift my vibrations. I thought about the fact that I have shelter, food, my parents are around, and I’m in my right mind. I am able to pursue a dream that would be tougher if I had a little one on my hip. I live far away from my family right now, and God saw fit that I could at least visit them. Instead of thanking Him for that, here I am worrying about having another family. I’m reminded that God will give it when He feels like I need it. So basically, I had to get myself together y’all. There really is so much to be thankful for.
This holiday season let’s be grateful for where we’re at in life. Do not put more pressure on yourself during the holidays because you feel like you do not have what others have. So, you may not get a G-wagon for Christmas like Ari, but at least you have a car. And if you are walking, we thank God for the legs to walk.
Everybody is at a different stage in life, and your time will come, but we must be more appreciative of the small things to get to the big things. Let that be our standard for the season—let’s get back to that space for our holidays.
What are you thankful for?Leave a Comment
I’m thankful I haven’t lost my mind having being told on 11/30 that we have to vacate our home by 12/31. I’m totally devastated. My landlord did me really dirty but God. He has the last day so. Please pray for me and my sons.
I will be praying! You got this!
I’m thankful for the honesty of this post!! End of year holiday celebrations are often tough for me because I tend to look back over time and dwell on my losses rather than my gains, which, of course, can easily be depressing. But your essay is helping me to remember the importance of reorienting my thinking so that I appreciate the smallest of things every day, for every day that I’m alive is a blessing that’s always worthy of a celebration.
Thank you so much Rita! Be Blessed!
Mama B says
I’m so grateful how my parent’s raised me. Respecting elders, treating people how you want to be treated, having morals, values, integrity and character take you a long way in life. It’s true, I married my soul mate, coming up on 43 years! We raised wonderful kids who are married and it is so beautiful to see history repeat itself. They taught me the importance to give back. That saying “children live what they learn is true!”
I’m grateful God blessed my life abundantly. I owned 6 restaurants on a military base, cooked for 3 sitting Presidents and First Ladies, became celebrity caterer. I semi retired at 50 now over 60 I’m embarking on another business. Because of my authenticity so many celebrities I’m still in touch with! To hear people tell me it is a breath of fresh air, speaks volumes!
I get calls all the time to be guest speaker for conferences. Doing one with a famous blk female Judge from tv Jan 12,2023! So it is a blessing to be true to yourself, too carry yourself with dignity.
I’m going to keep you all posted but I want to tell all of you, we are all enough! No matter where you came from. Remember comparing yourself to other’s or what you don’t have is the thief of all and true joy!
So focus on what you have. Focus on your own goals, if you don’t have any get some! Take a break from so much social media and mess on tv. Read a book, go to a museum, go to a play, give back. See how full-filing that is.
Same blood running thru your veins does not make you family. You decide who you want in your tribe.
Always give God the glory! Ask him to lead you and guide you in the direction He wants you to go. If you are feeling depressed get some help. Our mental health is so important!
May you all have a blessed holiday as we come to the end of 2022 and may you all stand tall and win in 2023!
Yesssss! Love your response! You got this!
Thank you so much for this. You said so many things that had me a little emotional, I don’t know how to feel sometime. But I do know that I have much to be grateful for. Thank you.
Amen Queen! Sometimes its rough but we are so Blessed.
DDoris Jones Wilson says
Beautifully said! To be thankful for who we are, what we have and who we have is a truth to always be remembered! Thanks for the reminder!
Absolutely Queen! Stay Blessed
Amen! Stay Blessed Queen!
Leslie Sanford says
I am thankful for my health, children & family. I am also thankful to be an independent woman that is gainfully employed who keeps striving everyday to be better than the day before.
Yesss! Awesome! Family is everything! Happy Holidays
Lady D says
Everything! I’m not playing. At 64 I can appreciate and express gratitude for everything I’ve experienced and been through. When I say everything that includes the good and the bad, victories and defeat, love and loss, etc. You get the picture.
Everything means everything!
I love that! Everything means everything! Be Blessed.
I am thankful for friends. I am a woman in her early 50’s, in the midst of divorce, with grown children and looking to change careers. All of this during the holiday season. Embarking on this journey can be tough, uncertain and scary. I’m on my way to a new me and my friend circle has been there for me. Encouraging, listening and even wiping my tears. I thank God for them and this journey…as I may not have moved from this space on my own.
Thank you for your response! Stay encouraged and stay blessed.
Barbara Henderson Taylor says
I am so thankful for the breath of life given to me and my family. I am thankful I still have both my Parents. I am thankful thankful that JESUS chose us and we listened. I really enjoyed reading this post! I wish everyone could read this.
Yes Thankful for parents!
Shawna Montgomery says
I love everything about this candid conversation.
I’ve been on both sides and it has taught me to be happy at whatever state I’m in There’s always someone worse off
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU
Absolutely! Thank you! Happy Holidays. Keep Winning
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings on what Christmas means to you.
You are so very welcome! Have a wonderful Holiday!
Kara Payne says
So well written! I am grateful for living a life that I love. My faith, family, and a fulfilling career are such a blessing!
Thank you! And yesss you are super Blessed!
I’m thankful for reading this. I needed this reminder. I’ve been feeling so sad lately but I have so much to be grateful for.
J. Hall says
Even though I am thankful for the many blessings and family members He has placed in my life, I also get a bit melancholy and find that I’m “just participating “ in the holiday activities. My mom passed away two years ago (and my father 16 years ago) and, since they’re not with us, my sisters have grown apart. 😞. I’m in the middle and trying to keep the family together but I’m tired. We’re it not for my husband, children, and beautiful grandchildren, holidays would not mean much to me.
This is amazing. They need to bring you on at a percentage.
Sabrina Virgillo says
This resonated with me so much! Let’s be thankful for what we do have vs what we think we need to have. God is good, all the time. Great read!
I am thankful for this year and the progress I have made within myself. God has really stretched me and while not pleasant it was necessary. I am thankful for my family and for my health and home and business.
Thank you for your honesty and praying you have a blessed Christmas