When the holidays kind of suck (A personal post) | Atlanta Boudoir Photographer

Posted on by sarahwitherington@gmail.com

Let’s just put it out there: sometimes the Holidays really suck.

“Happy Holidays! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy all of the things!!!” Is it appropriate to flip someone the bird if they say that to you? The holiday season, or any holiday ever, isn’t happy for everyone.

The holidays can honestly be anything but happy, and I’ll come right out and say it: this holiday season isn’t exactly looking particularly happy for myself, my family, my boyfriend’s family, and a variety of the people that I have in my life. Generally I love a good email from Sephora and a spruce-tree candle, but right now I hate it all and also I’m avoiding them… along with any stupid, dumb, cheesy, warm-toned, Hallmark Movie. I did buy a tree, but it’s about as “Charlie Brown” as you can get while still making an effort.

Over the 2018 year there existed a litany of life circumstances (can we just call it SHIT?) that had myself and those around me wanting to crawl into a dark, warm bed, only to return after it was all over. And while I’ve only recently encountered certain circumstances that are making me dread the holidays, I know that “Holiday Hell” has existed for so many of you before now. It’s been years since you could look fondly on family gatherings, on special recipes, on memories that you now look back on with pain because they feel false. 

Since August especially we have experienced the deaths of two very important family members. Once on my boyfriend’s side and once on my side. During and before those deaths we have been faced with sickness, tragedy, and accidents with our family and friends. During an exciting trip to upstate NY in August we learned of the passing of Frank’s mom’s partner of nearly 20 years. During this past week we learned of the passing of my aunt, the matriarch of our family (and where I get my affinity for black and bling). Both passings were after we had already made plans to visit because the inevitable was going to happen. We never made it for our last good byes. 

For this holiday season we, and many of our friends, are experiencing a “first” holiday without loved ones. I say “a first holiday” because for the next year there will be many more “first holidays” without them. While I feel sad that this is our first holiday without each other, I also know that there are so many of you that have had countless holidays without those you love, and also without those that you wish loved you.

So, let’s be honest. The holidays are not always happy. They f***ing suck sometimes. Holidays, which are supposed to bring us together in love, joy, thankfulness, remembrance, and reverence, are often clouded with hurt, sadness, anger, apathy, loneliness, and distance. 

At this point I know we could add to the list of negative feelings, but that isn’t the point of this post. Mostly I want to let those of you that feel alone, anxious, pissed off, sad, and allllllllll of the other emotions that aren’t displayed in a Hershey’s or a Gap commercial that it is OK and that someone else out there feels what you feel. 

Hugs to all of you, I’ll be flying to upstate NY for a few days and immediately flying to Savannah, GA for gatherings at opposite ends of the country, but without opposite situations. For those of you in pain, in love, alone, sick, tired, hurt, isolated, pissed off, and on the edge: much love and virtual hugs. The holidays can suck so hard, and you’re definitely not the only one to feel that. 

I’m thankful for all of you that follow along and support OWN. The community of clients, photographers, and friends is incredibly encouraging during hard times and for that I will never feel an ounce of sadness.