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For those who find Christmas painful.

Some thoughts for those who cannot enjoy the season.  Those who are still grieving a lost one - my heart goes out to you as you bring out (or in) the tree and can't bring yourself to decorate it because the grief overwhelms you and instead of making you happy you are struck by how locked outside you are feeling, like the little match girl with your nose against the window.

Or how focusing on choosing gifts for others seems so superficial and shallow even though you always enjoyed it in the past.

Or, if you are living in poverty and you can't spend money you haven't got, on presents for the most vulnerable in your family - how it just makes your situation more acute, And the thing you can't ignore is that anger sitting there like a stubborn goat.

Or, you recall a past Christmas where there was trauma - a relative that assaulted you or someone you love. Or a relative that drank beyond their ability to know what they were doing and the rest of the family spend the day walking on broken glass trying to avoid the elephant. 

Or, an unexpected break up after all the preparations and anticipation you put into the day.

Or because you do not identify as Christian and were excluded from these holidays. The memory of being left out made you feel like you didn't belong.

Whoever you are, wherever you live, I wish you good books, perhaps lots of sleep, or whatever it is you need most - a supportive and empathic family.

Crisis centres across Canada: http://www.partnersformh.ca/resources/find-help/crisis-centres-across-canada/

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