When the Holiday Season Isn’t So Happy

“Happy holidays!” someone shouted to me.  “Mmm hmmm, ” I mumbled.  Gosh, I felt miserable then.  About ten years ago I faced my first Christmas as an almost-single woman.  We decided we would split up in early December but he’d move out of the house after our youngest daughter’s birthday in January.  So, we kept our impending divorce a secret for over a month.  The children would have a “normal” holiday season and find out we were divorcing after the new year.  So, numb and sad beyond belief, I stumbled through the days ahead of me.  I was lonely, scared, and, well, numb.  That holiday season was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced–except for perhaps the first Christmas when I was eight years old which I faced without my mother who had passed away suddenly earlier in the year.

The holiday season can be wonderful and full of good memories, but for some people, it can be tremendously hard.

Sometimes the holiday season isn’t so happy.

People who are facing or who have faced life-altering challenges may be having a difficult time this time of year.

divorceThis time of year, reach out to those you know who are going through a hard time, or have in the past.  I know that for those who have lost loved ones, the holiday season can be difficult.  They remember past times together and have to move forward to create their own lives now.  People may be grieving because of death, divorce, parental alienation (yes–it’s hard if you don’t have your child around–people don’t think about that and how much it can hurt), a serious illness, a job loss…these major life challenges entail a shift in living differently because of loss.

If you’re having a hard time, reach out to someone–a friend, family member, a clergy person, a therapist–to help you get through the season.  Know that you’re not alone and this too will pass.

The holiday season is a joyous time of year, but for some people, the holidays aren’t so happy (for those who have experienced or are experiencing loss whether it’s grief over a death, divorce, job loss, parental alienation, etc.).  Be kind to those you meet–you never know what’s going on in their lives.  Be kind to yourself if you’re feeling down and if you need help, get it.  Reach out to those who might even possibly be down this holiday season, and to those who probably are.

Happy holidays to you!  May the new year bring you an abundance of love, good health, wealth, peace, and happiness.


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Nicole Nenninger counselor

Is your relationship with your significant other less than stellar?  Is it boring?  Are you on the fence about getting a divorce or are you now in the midst of one and need some guidance?

I can help.  As a certified life coach and counselor with a focus on marriage and family therapy, I help individuals, couples, and families to heal.

My passion is to enrich people’s lives by helping them create extraordinary relationships.  I am the author of Transforming Divorce, theTransforming Divorce Workbook, and co-author (with my husband Don Nenninger) ofThe Secrets of Loving Relationships, and The Art and Science of Parenting:  How to Act When Your Kid’s Acting Out.

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