While Xmas is a happy time for many, it's also the time of year when loneliness, depression, and visits to psychologists peak.
For me, it's the only time of year that I envy my parent-friends for being parents. I have historical associations with excitement of kids, being part of a big family, the beauty of decorations and the Xmas tree adorning a huge pile of gifts (mine was a family of 8 people). I loved Xmas Eve and Xmas morning the most. We often spent Xmas day with our cousins whom we loved!
I chose not to have kids, and my husband and I are wary of our footprint on the earth, so are very careful now about buying 'stuff'. Of course presents don't have to be about buying 'stuff', but my hubby isn't that keen on giving presents at set times anyway.
The cousin that I was closest to died tragically 5 years ago (at 45 years of age), and my husband isn't very close to his family. He doesn't have fun associations with Xmas, so isn't really moved to put effort into celebrating.
So for me, Xmas is just an echo of those joyful things now; a reminder that they no longer exist for me.
My wistful situation is mild compared to many others who don't even have a loving partner to share the day with. Or people who have painful or broken relationships with their families, for whom Xmas brings that all up again as the time when we're 'supposed to' be with our loved ones.
If you're someone who's feeling a bit blue (or worse) at this time of year, here's a terrific short article with some mindfulness strategies that really help.