The Holidays Are Depressing

I hate the holidays. Yup, it’s true. I really don’t want to be That Guy who complains about them but I can’t help it. The holidays make me sad and think about the future when my parents are gone and what if I don’t have my own family already and where will I go and blah, blah, blah.

To me, the holidays are a reminder of how much things have changed. We all know that Christmas can lose its magic when you get older. You stop believing in Santa Claus and stop caring so much about gifts. Instead of being an exciting time, it becomes one that’s met with dread, excess calories, and financial strain. You run away from your family problems for 364 days a year and for one (or two if you’re going home for Thanksgiving) you have to face them. You have to see all of your family members and take note of what’s been happening to them. In some cases this can be good. You can be reunited with your favorite cousin, hang out with your awesome grandma. But more often than not, it feels like a bummer.

The holidays remind me of what’s gone missing. Rather than being a celebration of what we have, it almost feels like a memoriam. This has a lot to do with the way I view things obviously. I’m sure most of my family members would disagree with this statement, which is fair, but I’m at an age of transition. My cousins are building their own family, my grandmother—the matriarch—is getting older and the future is uncertain. It all begs the question, “Who do you want to include in your family?” People are already getting left behind. I’m getting left behind.

The holidays stand as a marker for where you are in life. Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a great job? Are you happy? These questions are in your face constantly and you can’t avoid them. If you’re having a great year then, yay, the holidays will be the time for you to show everyone how well you’re doing. If not, then get ready to drink. Heavily.

I feel like the holidays are just plain weird for twenty-somethings anyway. Christmas serves a purpose for children and parents, and I’m neither of those. I don’t have a child to create a special Christmas for and I don’t have enough money to buy everyone gifts. It’s awkward. I’m in a grey area age with the holidays. It’s like “Make me five again or give me a kid. Otherwise, can I just sleep through the holidays this year?” TC mark

image – Joe Buckingham

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Anonymous

    “I feel like the holidays are just plain weird for twenty-somethings anyway. Christmas serves a purpose for children and parents, and I’m neither of those. ”  This is exactly what I was saying to my friend at the weekend following a bout of Home Alone 2 induced depression. 

  • Austin

    The “Pure Romance – Couples Resorts Jamaica” ad at the bottom is fitting

  • Dulce_Polly

    It doesn’t get easier when the years pass and you’re not 20-something anymore

  • Pierrick

    OMG, SO true ! i don’t feel like i’m depressed properly in the holidays because i put a “face on” & act like it’s the “best time ever” of the year but those feelings you described are genuinely what i feel…
    That is why i’m make such “efforts” to have fun & enjoy the stuff you know…

    however, great reading !

  • Gregory Costa

    Oh, boo hoo.  Let me play Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  on the world’s smallest violin. 

    • Mung Beans

      now there is a talent, like writing people’s names on rice at Six Flags

  • Keith Pence

    Usually I really relate to Ryan and his posts, but this one really is just depressing.  Granted I’m not biting at the bit to go home for Christmas after living in NY for the last 5 months and getting inundated with questions about life.  However, I’ll just be grateful to be back with my family again for the first time in over a year or so.  Cheer up Ryan! Sounds like you are just a little homesick or in need of a really good bottle of red wine. 

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or does ryan sound like a chandler bing?

  • Natt Smith

    The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!  

  • Azyta

    ‘Make me five again’ is how I feel about life in general, never mind the holidays. Five was a good year for me.

  • Rayan Khayat

    Ryan I really wish you would start thinking of yourself as a person and a human being and  a man. Not some vague undefinable category like “twenty-something.” Sure, we have a lot of things in common, but you can’t bundle us up like we’re the same and compare and contrast yourself to everyone else.

    • Jordan

      I think the idea is this place gets more hits if everything is just about ‘twenty-somethings’ and the cliche problems that theoretically accompany them.

  • Alb

    why is every article on this site some self-obsessed manchild whining

    oh god you have to put up with dumb rituals for the benefit of people who love you! who gives a fuck

    • Jordan


  • guest

    love this. i’m only a seventeen year old girl, but i hate the holidays. everyone is way too jolly and eager to sit around and act like we all like each other. i hate social gatherings, and holidays just force me to have to pretend way too much about how i’m not miserable. 

  • Make the World a Prettier Plac

    It seems that everybody around me love the Holidays.  I hate it.  Thanks for representing those who hate it!
    – Marie

  • Anonymous

  • guest

    Amazing– Just glad to know that someone feels the same way as me.  Twenty-somethings have it pretty rough over the holidays and I can totally relate to what you’re saying. 

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