Why the Holidays Can Be the Hardest Time of the Year

This time of year can be difficult for me. I know a lot of people struggle during the last two weeks of the year. Challenging relationships, loss of loved ones, financial stress—many things can cause it to be a tough time of year.



Not only relational things make it a tough time of year for me. I struggle slowing down for two weeks. My mind wants to race ahead to the new year.

I also don’t enjoy the crazy materialism of the season. Sure, I enjoy getting a gift or two. And, I really enjoy giving gifts. But, the crazed rush of the masses to get that present for who knows who that probably won’t even like what they get turns me off big time.

If you have read many of my blogs, you know I tend to be a minimalist, so the season of over-spending and the unnecessary mound of gifts cuts against my grain.

I think I deal with it better now than years past, but I still get stressed or anxious. Then I end up either depressed or snappy…or both. You know who gets the brunt of it? Yep, my wife and sometimes others who are closest to me.

So, what do I do about it?

A few practical things and one vital thing.

I stick to my priorities.

I avoid as much as possible getting sucked into the crazy gift buying scene. I admit that is harder now that we have a three-year-old son. But it is still important in order for me to keep my sanity.

I journal.

I journal throughout the year, but I make sure to write down my thoughts and feelings during this time of year. Well, I guess I am journaling about it right here for all of you to read!

I press into relationships.

My tendency is to pull away from friends and family. That never serves me well. So whether I want to or not, I spend time with family and friends.

The one vital thing I do? I focus on the One who holds all things together.

As I Christ follower, I focus on Jesus Christ. I especially am intentional about it during this time of year. I find that He meets me in my hard and difficult places when I invite Him in. He is not threatened by my depression, anxiety, frustration or weakness.

He is my Rock, my Refuge, my Foundation. He knows my innermost thoughts—even better than I know myself.

What about you? Is this a difficult season for you? If so, share with me about it. (you can do so anonymously so you can be completely authentic.)


Get Your Free Copy!


No one enjoys going through the motions each day. Find out what your mission is in life! Get your free copy of 21 Ways To Discover Your Mission In Life.

Powered by ConvertKit

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 thoughts on “Why the Holidays Can Be the Hardest Time of the Year

  1. Whatever idealism I had associated with the holidays evaporated the Thanksgiving we had Abe and then lost him. The shock still comes calling with the arrival of the first serious cold front to make it down to SE Texas each year. Maybe that’s why I don’t put up Christmas lights on the house. I have also noticed that of all the devastation and grief I have experienced with the fire in our home over Thanksgiving this year, the loss of enjoying the season in our home was simply not there. People have commented on how tragic the timing of the fire was, and my internal response has been along the lines of, “…huh? Oh, yeah…”
    By the way, I did notice over the holidays how intentional you were to just be available…

  2. I am at a time in my life where my traditions around the holidays are changing from what they have always been. I now have a full time job, many of my friends are scattered around the state, and traumatic events that happened right after Christmas a few years ago tend to come back and linger in my thoughts. I have to make a conscious effort to focus on what is important and to remember that God is still the center of everything. I am very thankful for God’s patience with me.