facebook icon

Can We Just Cancel the Holidays?

I attended a virtual support group recently entitled “Getting Through the Holidays Together!” — I signed up because that’s exactly how I feel. I have to “get through” them. In the meeting, I shared my true feeling about these upcoming holidays: I wish I could just skip right over them. You know, wake up tomorrow and it’s January. Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, all done.

I didn’t always feel this way. Growing up with a Danish mother, Yule was always a big deal at our house (and still is). Early in December, Mom would start baking her delicious Danish and Greek cookies (a nod to my Greek-American father). Aromas of butter and vanilla, cinnamon and honey would fill the house.

Christmas eve featured singing carols as we danced around the Christmas tree, followed by a traditional Danish Yule dinner: Flaeskesteg (roast pork with crackling) with gravy, caramelized potatoes and braised red cabbage. For dessert, there was always risalamande, a rice pudding served with warm cherry sauce. My mom would hide a blanched whole almond in the pudding, and whoever found the almond in their bowl was bound to have a wonderful next year, and received a small gift, usually a marzipan pig.

Sounds fun, right?

So why the bah humbug attitude this year?

A confluence of events brings me to this sad state. Health and family issues (and don’t get me started on our embattled US democracy) have complicated the holidays for us where it is hard to imagine harnessing even a smidge of a celebratory spirit. I am dreading it all.

January sounds good to me. Cold and snowy here in Chicago. A quiet time to relax and hunker down. No pressure. No expectations. For an introverted homebody like me, it sounds heavenly.

Now is the time when I would talk myself into finding the silver lining in my holiday dread. But honestly, I’m in the mood for a little wallowing. Not putting lipstick on this pig (marzipan or not!).

Now is the time when I would apologize for my curmudgeonly stance (you know, sorry, don’t mean to bring you all down). Nope. I am owning my feelings, even the crappy ones.

YOUR TURN: How’s your mood this holiday season? How are you celebrating—or not?

Want to learn how to THRIVE

in your next chapter?

Grab your FREE training and discover the 5 MUSTS to a joyful and fulfilling next chapter, along with EASY STEPS you can begin taking today to put these MUSTS into practice.


  1. Sally

    OMG Hélène, I was just fuming about an argument we’re having about Christmas already–I was thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if I could just call in sick that morning.” Hahahahaha. Yah, bah humbug! 😘

    • Hélène

      I know, it starts early. We are still figuring out our options for Thanksgiving!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Hardest Thing a Parent Does…

The Hardest Thing a Parent Does…

I thought when my girls were grown that parenting would get easier. I'm finding out it's just different. For sure, the physical demands have eased. No more long nights up with a crying baby or late nights waiting up for a teen. No more schlepping babies in car seats...

I Fixed It Myself!

I Fixed It Myself!

My husband Peter likes to fix things—he jokes that he's a rare breed of "handy Jew." His dream is to rebuild a vintage car someday. So when something goes awry in our house, he's quick to jump in with his toolbox, whereas I'd usually pick up the phone and call the...

I’m Hélène Stelian, the Midlife Mentor with a passion for facilitating personal development in women 40+. Through my THRIVE Courses, I help introspective, curious, action-oriented women 40+ deepen their journeys of self-discovery and growth—and create their next chapter with courage and intention.

Follow Me


I am happy to bring you valuable content and resources free of charge. In order to do this, please note that if you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. Thank you!

Pin It on Pinterest