By Katherin C.

As much as Christmas brings joy, happiness, and family to many, it can also be a really hard time of year for others.

It could be the first Christmas without someone you lost this past year.

It could be that financially the past year has been tough, you’re exhausted & stressed just getting by and then on top of that you’re faced with “making spirits bright” for your family.

It could be that this time of year makes you think about not just the family you see often, but maybe those you’re estranged from. Or maybe even never met.

I try to focus on all the good around Christmas but it does bring up a strange feeling for me around that word “family”. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my dad but he’s actually my stepdad. And he did a damn good job let me tell you, I’ve never felt like I am not his. But, I haven’t ever met my biological father either. For a stint in my 20’s, I found him and communicated with him and his wife over email. We swapped photos, and around Christmas time we got to wish each other Merry Christmas for the first time. I have to admit there was a bit of a novelty to it.

He lived very far away and neither of us made any plans to travel the distance and meet each other. I was raising a family so there was no way I could go but I got the impression he didn’t really have any interest in meeting me, or my kids. I think once that realization came around (and he had told me previously that he had never wanted kids in the first place) I stopped reaching out. I have to admit it was a bit of a test, which needless to say didn’t go well. I never heard from him again.

I’ve come to peace with the fact that he is missing out on a lot and that isn’t on me, but I still think of him at Christmas and it tinges my happiness with a bit of sad. I wonder if he’s doing ok.  I wonder if he ever thinks about what it would have been like to see MY face Christmas morning when I was little? I can’t imagine missing that – that is what makes this an amazing time of year to me.

Now my story is not as sad as some others. Maybe you’ve lost someone over the past year. Maybe you’re just struggling to get that Christmas spirit going and you’re not even sure why your sad.

This time of year can be really, really hard but you should know you’re not alone and it’s ok to ask for help. I did. Sharing how you’re feeling with others can be weight lifting.

Alberta Health Services has great resources and programming if you need it. They’ll help you find a program in your area and can take stock of your symptoms.  Call 811 or visit myhealth.alberta.ca

You’re not alone. You’re doing ok. And you’re worth every bit of magic that finds it’s way to you on Christmas morning.

Katherin C is a mom of 3 kids from a small town in Southern Alberta. She enjoys making snow angels with them and just basking in the warmth of being a mom. 

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