7 Reasons The Holidays Are NOT FUN!


Most people love the holidays. We have so many reasons to be joyful. It is a special time of year when people who are self-centered, negative and difficult are somehow transformed by the loving spirit of giving. Or so the media likes to make us think. But as we scan our Facebook pages and see all the happy individuals, couples and families, we may feel a nagging pain in our gut reminding us that all that glitters may not be gold. Others may have it all during this happy season – or maybe it is all a big show.

Can you use some nurturing love this holiday season?

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1. All That Tempting Holiday Food

Holiday food is so delicious. There are all these tasty delicacies like pigs in the blanket and fried cheese biscuits. We love to sip our favorite holiday drinks like eggnog, apple cider and special holiday martinis. And it would not be complete without colorful cupcakes, pumpkin pie, gingerbread, pecan pie, or warm apple pie with ice cream.


  • What happens if we have a blood sugar problem and cannot have sweets?
  • What happens if we have a digestive problem and cannot eat gluten, milk products, fried food or other tasty appetizers?
  • What happens if we have been on a special diet to lose weight, to build muscle, to heal from infections or even cancer?

2. Joyful Holiday Parties
Holiday parties are so much fun, an opportunity to share the joy of the season with our beloved friends. We eat and drink and share laughter and good times. We reminisce about the trips we took, the fun times we have had, and how much we enjoy being together.


  • What happens when you are not invited to any parties?
  • What happens if your partner flirts or behaves in a way that makes you suspect an affair?
  • What happens when you, or your partner, has a drinking problem that has not been handled?
  • What happens when you are verbally abused or embarrassed in front of your friends?

3. Holiday Gifts



Giving and receiving gifts adds to the true meaning of the holiday season. Most of us love to go shopping at our favorite stores or special online sites. It is fun to choose just the right gifts for each person.


  • What happens when we have nobody with whom to exchange gifts?
  • What happens when we give someone a special gift and they do not reciprocate?
  • What happens when our intimate partner gives someone else a more intimate gift?

4. Holidays with Family

Family, including spouses, parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, step-families, distant relatives, and your beloved pets make life worthwhile. Without your family to share the holidays we feel alone, lonely, even lost and depressed.



  • What happens when we become elder orphans, older adults with few or no living relatives?
  • What happens when we are cut off from the few relatives we do have, either by our own choice or theirs?


5. Holidays at Work

Holiday parties at work are a time to let down your hair down, a time to dance, laugh and share good times with your hard-working colleagues. Some of us remember those moments throughout the year because they were so special.


  • What happens if we are fired or retired from the familiar workplace?
  • What happens to entrepreneurs who work at home with no employees?
  • What happens if we are unemployed and short of money in this season of giving?

6. Holidays with Friends


Visiting with beloved friends is a joy at any time and especially amidst all the holiday colors and decorations. Couples hangout with other couples to celebrate. Singles go to parties where they may meet someone new and special.


  • What happens when you have just discovered your partner’s affair and you are considering breaking up?
  • What happens when all your friends have a significant other – and you don’t?
  • What happens when you are ill or tired, depressed and lonely, and can’t drag yourself to go out?

7. Holidays after Loss

When you lose a loved one – a parent, a spouse, a child, a beloved friend or your darling pet – you may go through a prolonged period of grief. At first, other people may rally around you to provide support.  But soon you may just feel like moping around, missing the life you once shared.



  • What happens when your friends are not available and you find yourself all alone?
  • What happens when you must face the holidays alone, without your loved one?


  • What better time to focus on love!
  • Learn the art and science and practice of love – with or without a current partner!
  • Feel the joy in your own heart as your deepen the love you feel, every day, for YOU!


Love Lessons for the Soul


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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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16 thoughts on “7 Reasons The Holidays Are NOT FUN!

  1. Hi Erica,
    wow! wonderful post.I never think like that.when i read your article i think about my dad who is a blood sugar patient.He cant eat sweet and so much.Before i read your article I never think about my dad.why he did not want join in party and holiday trip but now I can understand how much painful for him.you made me emotional.I always think that he cant join because he did not want to join but You clear the issue.Thank you.I loved the post.Keep sharing.

    • Bibhrangshu,
      You are so special that you read my article and realized something about your dad. Many of us avoid calling our friends and family, avoid getting together in person. The reason may be that they are depressed, have no money or have difficulty saying no to food (sugar, wheat products, fat, fried appetizers, alcohol, coffee) for health reasons. Just as you thought your father didn’t want to join you, the real reason was probably he was trying to protect his health.
      Too often, we take things personally that have very little to do with us. This is a reminder to feel compassion for others as often as we can.

      Dr. Erica

  2. Hello Dr Erica! I am not big on the whole gift giving thing! I believe Christmas is for spending time with our loved ones and do hope this will never end! This year will be the first without my mom around and know it wont be long before the good lord takes my dad home. But I do hope our family will always be close even after they are gone!

    Thank you for this AWESOME POST! Such Great Reminders.
    Chery :))

    • Hi Chery,
      We do feel such sadness when loved ones are no longer with us. But this is a natural part of life. Always a reminder to show our love and appreciation for everyone while they are here. We also need to appreciate what we do have, not worry so much about what we don’t have – appreciate the people who are still with us and remind them why they mean so much to us.
      Dr. Erica

  3. Dr. Erica,
    Lovely post. Can the holidays not be fun?
    I do know the downside of the season. Some years we had no money for extras. So I made handmade gifts.
    For some people, Christmas can be hard. This year for me is very difficult fighting breast cancer. All the usual commercialism of the holidays seems not to matter. I do not want or expect gifts. No hoopla as you said
    of spending. What does matter is family and friends.
    The beauty of the season, and spirit of love.This year I will not be alone or have a spouse that drinks, or money problems. I wish everyone love and harmony with the spirit of the season. Don’t worry, be happy, Merry Christmas. ( Happy Hanukah)

    • Kathryn,
      You have the spirit of love and that is more important than almost anything else. Our family, friends and health mean so much. Without that, we have very little that brings us joy.
      My prayer is for your complete healing – and very soon. You give so much to others – your time, your energy and your caring. Now is the time to give so much of that back to yourself.
      Dr. Erica

  4. Hi Dr.Erica,
    Your post is insightful. It reveals the two possibilities for people at this season. Generally, this holiday season is perceived to be a happy one, but your questions reveals other possibilities which are not far from reality. No matter what side of the divide we fall, we should learn to remain in love and at peace with ourselves.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Taiwo,
      You are so right. Even in the midst of difficult life problems and sadness, we can find peace within our self, especially when we realize we are not alone. Whatever it is, we are having a human experience shared by many others.
      Dr. Erica

  5. Thank you for writing this Dr. Erica! I actually wrote a little book on dealing with holiday stress a few years ago that dealt with many of the issues you’ve listed and I got so tired of people leaving comments that they never suffered from holiday stress that I figured, okay I guess it’s just me, and I unpublished the book.

    • Marty,
      I can’t believe you unpublished the book. So many people can benefit from knowing they are not the only one feeling sad or alone at holiday time. What I have realized, particularly this year, is that many people have a large group of friends and lots of family to share the holidays with. But as people get older or they and their family and friends move to a distant city, they may find themselves unexpectedly alone. If you are alone or struggling with the illness, addiction or death of a loved one, or severe financial problems, etc., and you see everybody else on social media having fun family time, that can add to your sense of being the only one not celebrating.
      Why don’t you re-publish this book and forget about the people who don’t feel that stress. They don’t feel it now, but every one of us may be subject to that type of stress at some point. Your book is a gift to those who need a boost.
      Dr. Erica

  6. Hi Erica,

    I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one aware of the down-side of Christmas and O experience a lot of these thoughts myself.

    Last night I had a Christmas meal out with friends and while the food and their company was wonderful we were in a ram-packed restaurant surrounded by parties of people laughing and shouting so loudly we couldn’t hear each other speak. When we finally left we all confided our heads were ringing and we were pleased to get out. This is the second year this has happened to us (different restaurants).

    My second big grump is the consumerism! I am lucky enough that my friends, family and I all have every item of consumer goods we could possibly want, and / or the means to go out and buy them ourselves if we want something else. So WHY the imperative to have to go out and spend money on random “stuff” that’s unwrapped on Christmas Day and promptly forgotten about? I’ve tried the “truces” of not buying people gifts, only to be still confronted with a heap of gifts on Christmas Day when I have kept my part of the bargain and NOT bought. I’m sending vouchers or money this year, but I know I will be embarrassed by receiving a mountain of beautifully wrapped expensive gifts that I don’t actually need.

    I have tons to be grateful for, I know, and lucky to have people who want to buy for me, but those “empty seats” are sometimes best honoured quietly and alone, because being surrounded by the “fun” others are having, worsens the emptiness rather than filling the void.

    Happy Christmas everyone, but forgive me if I don’t participate in the hysteria 🙂

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

    • Joy,
      Just feel grateful for the friends you enjoy being with. Who cares about a noisy restaurant. Maybe it is best to celebrate with friends at your own home, having old fashioned parties with no outside interference. Being Jewish, my family never exchanged gifts at Christmas time, and maybe 1 gift (but something we wanted or needed) during Hanukah. I do enjoy a gift giving party with small gifts exchanged. But I don’t enjoy being caught up in the hoopla spending frenzy. For me, the holidays are about the beautiful lights, the beautiful choirs singing, a spirit of love and harmony, giving and forgiveness, and appreciation of family and friends.

      Dr. Erica

  7. Hi Dr. Erica,
    Is it not really sad that we are so conditioned that even Holidays make people suffer? In a time where we should be grateful for all the good we have, it would be time to look in a different way on this and not make holidays a struggle. In my family, we have holiday whenever we want and do not expect gifts. I think we should learn to be happy from the inside out and not be dependent too much on the things outside. Holidays without too much expectation from others.and taking life as is.
    My Opinion 🙂
    Thank you

    • Erika,
      I have been feeling so sad during this holiday season. My cousin has been in the hospital after a stroke, then in rehab, then in the hospital, and back in rehab, and on dialysis with her ride side not yet moving (just a little movement in her leg). I was feeling resentment rather than love because it is a big trip to visit her and I am the only nearby relative. So I would drive there reluctantly, knowing I must do this. But last night, when she shared that she wants to be able to return home and not spend the rest of her life in a rehab (where she does not get adequate attention and proper treatment), my heart went out to her. I finally had a shift in my consciousness and an opening in my heart. Thank you for the reminder to feel grateful, even in the midst of illness, infirmity and other problems,

  8. Hi Erica,

    You referred to a video on this page; however, I do not see one (may be my browser).

    I sometimes forget that holidays are not joyful for everyone. I, or someone I know have experienced all of the issues you mentioned above at one time or another. Emotions like fear, worry, regret, sorrow and depression are equally felt by some. While some of us have fun-filled, loving holidays with family and friends that look like a Norman Rockwell painting, most do not.

    I know lots of people (including me) who have lost loved ones during the year and that empty chair saddens us. What about those who have lost a job, money, a beloved pet, or anything else that they would have chosen to hold on to. Holiday time can tug on our heartstrings, drain our finances, and send us into a chaotic tinsel and mistletoe covered frenzy.

    • Hi Rachel,
      I’m not sure where you saw a reference to a video but there is no video in this post.
      More people than we realize are suffering in some way, even if they do share the holidays with beloved family and friends.
      It is good for all of us to feel gratitude when we are surrounded with love and to reach out with kindness to others when we can.
      Dr. Erica

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