Holidays bring to mind images of family, gathered together to celebrate and spend quality time together. But what happens if your family members are not the kind of people you want to celebrate the holidays with? The holidays can be challenging when you have a family who negatively impacts your mood, your behaviors, and even your mental health.
Some might decide to not celebrate the holidays at all, others may choose to go on a solo vacation. The holidays can be celebrated in many ways including starting your own holiday tradition. There are many possibilities and only you can decide what is best for you.
One way that people cope with a less-than-ideal family of origin is to create a family of their own via friends. A friend can be closer than a sister or brother. A friend can be the “motherly figure” you seek for advice. A friend can fulfill different roles and with whom you have a deeper connection than those in your biological family. While friends may have their own family to celebrate the holidays with, it does not mean that you cannot join them.
Some adults have “adopted” their friends’ families as their own and become a part of their holiday traditions. Friends can be the family you choose versus the family you were born into. What is most important is to surround yourself with people who love and support you, who you leave their company feeling good, and who are there for you unconditionally. No matter how you celebrate the holidays, find ways to have fun and experience joy. The world has had a rough almost two years. It is time to live your life in a way that makes you happy including how you choose to spend the holidays and with whom you decide to do so.
Michelle A. Culver, LMFT