Rediscovering Christmas – Help For When Holidays Are Difficult

by | Dec 5, 2016 | Rediscovering Christmas

The holidays aren’t the most wonderful time of year for everyone.

We opened up this conversation in our last post, and today we’re digging a little deeper. If your holidays are difficult this year, may it help to know you’re not alone. Many of us struggle during this season and have different reasons why the holidays are difficult.

Missing a loved one.

Lack of money and time.

A demanding job that’s busier during the holidays.

Health concerns.

An abrupt change in life.

Grief. Depression. Loneliness. Stress.

When real life is difficult, the holidays can be even more so.

There’s added pressure during the holidays. There’s pressure to have a merry Christmas and a happy holiday. But what if I’m not happy? Pressures that are society-induced and pressures that are self-induced. I have to do this or go to this because it’s Christmas. Some we can’t control, and some we can. I can’t control my grief, but I can learn to embrace it. There’s some we don’t have to give in to, and yet there are some that we can’t avoid. I don’t need to overspend this Christmas, and I’ll make the best of the office holiday party.

For whatever reason(s) your holidays are difficult this year, may the following ideas help.

Help for when the holidays are difficult.

Help For When The Holidays Are Difficult

Get enough rest and exercise. Lack of rest can affect everything else and can cause illness and other physical ailments to set in. Do what you can to get enough sleep and to exercise to be and feel healthy. Taking care of you is of great importance.

It’s okay to not be jolly. Understand it’s okay to not be happy this season. Give yourself permission to feel how you’re feeling. If it helps, talk to someone dear to you. Write in a journal. Addressing how you’re feeling is important, and may be the thing to lift your spirits.

If you’re grieving the death of someone, seek out one person who understands. Many won’t understand what you’re going through unless they’ve experienced grief themselves. Seek out someone who has walked in your shoes. Talk to them. They may be able to walk alongside of you and give you encouragement. (We’ll talk more about grief during the holidays tomorrow.)

Draw near to God. Pray. Ask God to lighten the heaviness and to encourage your heart. Read your Bible. In past years I read through the Psalms which helped me to be reminded how God was still with me in the difficult times.

Be a blessing. There are others who are finding the holidays are difficult, too. Sometimes when we reach out and bless another, we end up being the ones blessed. Help an elderly neighbor or someone in need at work. Assist at a soup kitchen on a lunch break. Make a meal for someone in need. The options are endless.

Give yourself permission to say no. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t. You don’t have to attend every event you’re invited to. You don’t have to overspend to have a merry Christmas. And, you don’t have to do or be or measure up in any sort of way. It’s okay to say no.

We’re just getting started with this list. What can we add to it? Which one resonates with you this season, or what helps you when the holidays are difficult?

Your idea may be the one someone else needs today.

Choose just one of the above today and see how it goes. I’d love to read about it if you do.

May it help to know I’m praying for you today and throughout this Christmas season.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about grief during the holidays.




Help for when the holidays are difficult


Linking this post with my friends Lori and Anita.


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  1. Laura Acuna

    Loved this post, Julie. I lost my mother and my best friend last year within three months of each other. Both deaths were unexpected and sudden. I am learning to grieve in a healthy manner and allow it to do it’s work. This second Christmas feels harder than the first, but I have good support and I know He has me. I am grieving with hope. <3 Visiting you from Lori Shumaker's place. Merry Christmas!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Laura, I think you hit the nail on the head with your words “I am grieving with hope.” What a different that makes. I’m sorry you’re grieving at all and for your loss. Yes, God is with you and I’m thankful to read you have support in your life. I’m praying God replaces your grief with sweet memories. Thanks for sharing today. Hugs.

  2. SunSparkleShine

    Thank you for covering this topic, Julie. I’m looking forward to the holidays with mixed feelings this Christmas. It’s been a challenging year and I’m fighting to remember that God is good in the midst of grief. I’m pinning this to my Shining Through Grief board because I know others can use this encouragement too.
    Hugs and blessings.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine


    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Marva! I’m sorry your year has been challenging and you’re walking through grief right now. I pray God shows Himself to you in a mighty way this season. May He fill you with peace and hope that only He can give. Thank you for sharing some of you here. I consider it a gift. Hugs to you.

  3. GGMandy

    I was thinking I should write this! 🙂 I’m two doors down at Blessed but Stressed.

    • Julie Lefebure

      I love it when God gives us the same line of thinking! Thanks for stopping over and for sharing here!


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