Christmas has traditionally been a celebration of families reuniting, shoving issues under the rug, putting a giant decorated pine tree up for distraction and giving gifts as unspoken reconciliation.
If you had a problem with a family member, you kept it to yourself. Until now.
This Christmas season, I’ve noticed a collective dismantling of employing the typical American holiday glee as a gloss over for realistic (and sometimes disheartening) intergenerational family dynamics.
Medium.com has an entire collection dedicated to these stark holiday experiences. Worst Noel asks writers to submit essays about the “most wonderful/most miserable time of the year.”
Like the time Maud Newton visited her father for Christmas and ended up cleaning the house and uncluttering a lifetime of emotional junk.
Over on BuzzFeed, Ellis Avery shares why it’s ok to stay at a hotel during Christmas. Her experience taught her that it’s better to be true to oneself than to try to make an imperfect situation into a Hallmark moment. Most importantly, she realized she was not alone.
[blockquote source=””]None of the nighthawks we encountered that Christmas Eve were living out the holiday myth of a nuclear family, cozily setting out stockings for Santa Claus: not me and Sharon, not the rowdies next door, not the drug dealer at the pay phone, not the hotel clerks, not even my mother, living alone.[/blockquote]