Holiday Pressure

       For most people across the world the holidays are a time of excitement, but what about the many that feel completely different. The holidays are associated with love, family, celebrations, gift giving and success but this time of year can serve to be a painful reminder for many. The reality is that this time of year is absolutely wonderful for those 10 years old and under. I mean who wouldn’t be excited to have days off from school and get free gifts. Now, for the rest of us 10 and up it can be very stressful from the financial strain to give or even the pressure to meet others expectations of us. 

       In today’s day and age most family members and close friends are expecting and preparing for the good old gift giving tradition. In the hustle and bustle of what to get most of us forget those that are not financially in a place to give. When you don’t have it give it can feel very awkward and uncomfortable trying to explain, repeatedly I might add, why you came empty handed. For those that have job security and receive annual bonuses they may not feel the tug as much but the financial pressure to provide still remains. Unfortunately, I would go so far to say there is a stigma against those that don’t have it to give that becomes echoed in hallways and conversations across the world. In our holiday bliss we forgot that not everyone is as financial fortunate as us and the fact that holidays are not about gifts bought with money, but gifts that come from the soul that money can’t buy.

Pressure doesn’t only consist of financial responsibilities during the holidays but the pressure that comes from expectations that others put on us. Holidays equal holiday gatherings of friends and family that want to know one of four things: when are you going to be finished with school, are you still at that same job, when are you going to find you a nice man/woman, and when are you going to have some children! There’s something about family gatherings that makes people feel more open and entitled to tell you what you should be doing in your life. They often offer you unsolicited advice about what you need to do to get where ever or accomplish what ever they want you to be. Well fellow reader don’t become engrossed or dismayed by the annual “holiday intervention” because while they love and genuinely care about your future it is just that, YOUR future. Because this future is in fact yours and yours alone you have the right to shape it however you like. You have the right to go as fast or as slow as you like. 

About Janee V. Henderson

Janee' V. Henderson is a licensed professional counselor, coach, and consultant. She is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and holds a license to service those located in Missouri, Texas, and New Jersey. Janee received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master's in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Janee has certifications in Anger Management and Trauma-Informed Care.

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