What is worse than a group of people getting together who don’t really want to be there? Sound familiar? Where is the holiday cheer in that? And how did we get here—where guilt and obligation are the holiday norm?
I’m one of four siblings, we all have children, and my mother celebrates her birthday within days of Christmas. So stress, guilt, obligation, uncomfortable familial patterns, and financial pressure were as much a part of our winter holidays as the joy of being together. At a time when I just wanted to relax and go within, I found myself feeling overwhelmed, obligated, and worthy of blame. And this grew with each passing year, until recently.