Dreading December

  1. Today, as I was looking at my half-decorated tree, mountains of laundry, and sink full of dirty dishes, I began to sob. My sweet dad passed away 2 weeks ago, and January 2 will be the twelfth anniversary of my mom's passing. And everyone is depending on me to have a big family dinner on Christmas eve and breakfast Christmas morn. And then off to work I go in the afternoon.
    Gad, I hate this time of year. Trying to find suitable gifts for in-laws whom I may see 2 or 3 times a year. Doing all the decorations by myself because DH is ill, at work, too tired, watching football, whatever. I am probably suffering from seasonal affective disorder, and not wanting to get out of bed before noon.
    Please dear Lord, let this horrible time be over. I miss my Mom and Dad so much. Am I the only fifty-something to dread this time of year? I should be happy and joyful, not bawling like a babe. And yet I have so much to be thankful for: good health, a job, the sweetest grandbabies in the world. If I could just skip December, life would be perfect.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   herring_RN
    Nursej22:

    I hope you don't mind a prayer I sent for you.
    Maybe it would be good to tell your loved ones how youfeel. Their gift to you could e to help you with so much to do.
    Often people don't think that because someone has always done it she may not want to do it this year.
    They may be happy to provide Christmas Eve dinner and breakfast in the morning.
    You could sleep late, enjoy your family, and then go to work.

    You know your loved ones better than I d. Sometimes they are glad to do things and appreciate your gratitude more than dinner.

    If you are truly depressed you may want to see a doctor.

    I am no expert on this. It is common for people to be sad during the holidays.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    (((HUGS)))

    No, you're not the only 50-something who approaches the holidays with trepidation. So much is expected of us---we're the gift-givers, the party-makers, the ones who make the holidays happen. With all that busy-ness plus the day-to-day slog of working, eating, sleeping, and paying bills, it's no wonder we get worn out.

    I also think that the older we women get, the more we miss the people who made the holidays of our youth so memorable. I know I miss my folks more and more with every Christmas, and they've been gone for many, many years. In fact, my Christmas tree this year is all about sentimentality. I have the few ornaments from my childhood on there---some of which are at least as old as I am---as well as ALL of the ones my now-grown children made, the ornaments that represent each of them as well as the grandkids, even ones from the places where I've worked. And this year, I noticed that my 31-year-old daughter has learned to appreciate them as well.

    But, I digress. I am concerned about you because now you're associating Christmastime with the losses of your parents, which is completely understandable. I also don't know if you have SAD, which could be another complication. I know it's very soon after losing your father, but have you spoken with your doctor or a grief counselor? If not, please take the time to do so.....any relief will not likely come in time for this holiday season, but perhaps you won't have to live under this cloud for the rest of your life.

    Meanwhile, please don't feel you have to maintain family holiday traditions on your own. I think perhaps you AND your loved ones need the familiarity of it, but they should also help.......you can't be expected to do it all. And if it's too much effort even with help, don't do it---you don't need more stress on top of all you've been through.

    Sending you my sympathies and good thoughts. And once again, (((HUGS)))
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    You could be writing my thoughts down nursej22.

    I'm feeling overwhelmed as well. House is a mess, laundry, not getting much help.

    No presents purchased. Tree is up with lights and that's all.

    Kids are coming - I must get the house in shape for company. But I wait until the last minute because if I get it nice and clean now, it will be a mess again soon before company gets here.

    My dad died a couple of years ago but we weren't that close. My mom is in an Alzheimer's Unit 6 hours away and we weren't close for the last 10 years or so.

    Sending my thoughts to you as I commiserate.
  6. by   BCgradnurse
    Spidey's Mom and nursej22:

    I second what Viva said. Hugs to you both.
  7. by   nursej22
    Thank you for your kind words and hugs back to you all.

    I have called EAP and have an appointment Friday. I am already on medication, I just need to remember to take it.

    I am sad and not surprised to see that I am not the only one having a blue Christmas. Gack, that's another holiday song that grates on my nerves.
  8. by   cardiacfreak
    I'm not in the Christmas spirit either, as a matter of fact, I haven't put up my tree and don't plan on it either. My husband keeps asking and I tell him if he wants it up he can put it up.

    Maybe it's because I'm getting older, and all the kids are out of the house, I don't know.

    Nursej22, sending prayers your way, just know you're not alone.
  9. by   rdsxfnrn
    Oh, you are not alone, trust me. Maybe we could all get together and have a big non Christmas party! : )
  10. by   nurseprnRN
    {{{nursej22}}} This too shall pass. Take care.
  11. by   Art_Vandelay
    I am so sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine losing a parent.

    No, you are definitely not alone. I am estranged from some of my immediate family, but my husband is very close to his. His family is very loving and supportive, but for some reason...it highlights all the negative feelings I have about some of mine and this time of year just exacerbates the thoughts that are normally easier to push away. I could go on...but, I'll spare you. No, you're not alone.
  12. by   nursej22
    Art,
    Thank you, I think I understand and appreciate your sharing. Sometimes our closest family is not related by blood.

    I finally finished decorating the tree and have purchased some gifts. Sis has offered to help clean my house and daughter will cook Christmas eve dinner.
    Watching Rudolph the other night with the grandbabies was a real spirit lifter.

    And I have a giant inflated snowman and Santa in the front yard!
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi nursej22 . . . glad to read your post.

    My house is almost ready for company. It has taken two days and two melt-downs from me but with the help of my husband and son, we are almost there.

    After church, we head to the "big city" to do our Christmas shopping. My son, daughter-in-law and 3 week old granddaughter are coming here today and will most likely beat us home. I'm putting a homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot for them.

    Last night after my last melt-down I put my 12 year old son to work cleaning out the cd drawer in the entertainment center and he found a Neil Diamond cd and put it on . . . . I used to play that cd a lot when he was younger and so we danced to "Cherry Baby" and other songs. Then we all sat down and watched a comedy.

    I'm good this morning - Hope your day goes well too.
  14. by   Nascar nurse
    I was driving home Friday afternoon after our in-office holiday party. The party was very nice. Love my coworkers. The car radio was playing one of my favorite Christmas songs. Pretty little decorator flakes falling from the sky. What do I do....start sobbing like a baby! Completely lost it & thought I was going to have to pull over (was on a country back road, but still).

    20 year old daughter - going to look at an apartment with her boyfriend.

    18 year old son - off to the Navy come August & knowing he just may not be here for Christmas next year.

    A 21 year marriage that probably won't make it until next Christmas (not necessarily a bad thing).


    keep trying to convince myself I have one last year of traditions & I should enjoy while it's here. Still struggling.

    Hugs to the rest of you also struggling too.

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