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Merry and Bright on Our Own Time

This is a guest post by Kaitlyn Myers. Kaitlyn (she/her/hers) is an active member of Slippery Rock University’s SPARK Club in her senior year as an English major with a Gerontology minor. She’s an advocate for embracing the everyday feelings that make us all human.

With the holidays just a few short weeks away, the glow of lights are on, decorations are up, and cookies are being made. There's excitement in the air, but there’s a lingering tension too. It’s an oxymoron really. How can there be pressure around the jolliest time of the year?

As I creep into my twenties, holidays are changing. Like everything though, they aren’t supposed to stay the same, even if a part of me wants to never wrap a gift and just eat without cleaning up. Adulthood is a chance to rearrange the traditions.

With change comes new feelings though, which, as my counselor would say, hold validity. So maybe the full glazed eyes are now open to the hours of preparation spent leading up to the holidays. It’s a lot. It’s not all glamorous.

There may be days over the next few weeks where we all feel overwhelmed. Take a break. It’s okay to need time away from those we love. Shockingly enough, it’s possible to enjoy the holidays and still acknowledge that not every moment is merry and bright.

There is no pressure to love it all during the holidays. Advertisements and social media show us the good times of families all together. Prior to those photos, someone was sitting away from their family and just trying to make it through the day. That’s never in the highlight reel.

So this holiday is going to be different from the last twenty some I’ve had before. I want to take on more responsibility for my parents and grandparents, so they can relax throughout the day. I don’t want them to carry the holidays on their back anymore.

In the same breath, I also want to step away from the overbearing days that drain me. I can do both things. The new responsibility and the time away can all coexist. I hope we can all walk into our holidays embracing the new traditions that are bound to come. Happy holidays!


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