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The holidays can be triggering for a lot of us. Maybe you were sexually assaulted around this time of year. Maybe you were abused by a family member. Or maybe there was a tragic accident or death in the family. Whatever the reason, the holidays can be difficult.  As much as I wish that life was like a Hallmark movie, that is not the reality for a lot of people.

I grew up watching Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas (even as I write this I have a Hallmark movie on in the background). I love the excitement in the atmosphere. The decorations are exciting to put up and wrapping presents is one of my favorite tasks. I love to walk around the neighborhood and look at all the Christmas lights. But let’s be real — the holidays are stressful! There is a lot of pressure to spend the holiday with the family and to make it a picture-perfect event. Then there is the ordeal of shopping amongst crowds for that “perfect present”. That is how I got the idea for this holiday series. I wanted to write about how difficult the holiday season truly is for many people. I want to normalize the struggles that most of society ignores. 

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be publishing articles on a few “taboo” holiday topics. My goal is to remind anyone just trying to survive the holidays that they are not alone. I want to spread awareness and normalize things that may be hard to talk about during the holidays. I also want to normalize the idea that you can be bah-humbug towards certain holiday traditions while at the same time loving the holiday cheer! Just like the Fourth of July can be difficult for war veterans — with the loud noises and large crowds — Christmas can bring back painful memories that may leave you wanting the holiday season to end as soon as possible.

If you would like to know more about this topic, reach out to Kaitlyn at kaitlyn@embracestrengthcounseling.com. To schedule a consultation or initial session, please call (303) 720-9424.