The upcoming holiday season makes me feel…

The upcoming holiday season makes me feel a mix of sadness, loneliness and even anger. I mean, the holidays themselves are no big deal to me. But I’m already experiencing the anticipatory grief of feeling disconnected from my family and the family traditions I never really had. 

Holiday celebrations came to a screeching halt for me when I was about six, because my mom got swept up in a cult that believed holidays were pagan and not to be celebrated. So, even if holidays felt more like family reunions than religious celebrations, going to Uncle Samuel & Aunt Irma’s house for Christmas to spend  cherished time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, was no longer an option. Time with extended family was reduced to weddings and funerals. 

When I left the cult in ‘93 and moved to NYC to pursue my dance career I finally experienced the fun of holidays – with friends. And even more so when I was married because holidays were a big deal to his family. Now, holidays have returned to being non-eventful. Good thing I’m an introverted homebody because I mostly spend holidays alone with my own rituals; journaling, vision boarding and watching ridiculous rom-coms like “Love Actually”. And my favorite holiday meal is freshly baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. 

Even with the solitary rituals that I love, every holiday season I still feel robbed of the close relationships I could’ve had with my extended family. 

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