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In the Name of God بسم الله

How to learn to like holidays?

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For most of my adult life I worked multiple jobs and barely subsisted, and was isolated, with few friends and emotionally distant family. Holidays and their requisite feasts and gift giving were a source of stress, not joy. I'm financially ok now, I married a really nice rich (middle class) working guy. But I still feel an urge to minimize holidays, to just note the day and not really celebrate. I realized yesterday this is missing out on a lot of good memories for my kids. How do I change my way of thinking? How do I recapture the childlike joy and exuberance and really make memorable events out of our holidays? 

It's occurred to me that poverty is trauma, and isolation is trauma. Beyond myself, how can we prevent this happening to others? 

Edited by notme
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  • notme changed the title to How to learn to like holidays?
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wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah,

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say I have the same struggle. I don't even really celebrate my own birthday. I do not know the root as to why I don't, I think I just get too caught up in the adult life. I have struggled in the past as well with finances and now am doing well for myself Alhamdulilah, yet this hasn't changed holidays for me. Although I do from time to time spoil myself with watches, shoes etc... Perhaps if I had kids it would make it easier to enjoy holidays. Allahu alim. 

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31 minutes ago, MexicanVato said:

yet this hasn't changed holidays for me. Although I do from time to time spoil myself with watches, shoes etc... Perhaps if I had kids it would make it easier to enjoy holidays. Allahu alim. 

Yes, same, but no having kids did not change things for me. But I was still broke with kids for fifteen more years. Maybe if you're financially ok before having kids, it'll be better. I suspect though, we're going to have to pretend until we feel it. 

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You have to have true love in order to solve problems like that one. Allow me to explain. 7 years ago I was very different. I did what a man does for his family but there was no joy inside. I was considering divorcing my wife. I was considerate but not super fatherly to my children although I wanted to be. Then something weird happened and I also can not believe it. My youngest daughter was some months old and sleeping beside her mother on a bed. We were watching TV or something. Suddenly she rolled and fell from the bed and her head hit the floor. She cried. Her mother picked her up, I also got up and tried to soothe her. She kept crying and she was not opening her eyes. We both got scared for her. I held her in my arms and walked around soothing her so did her mom but she would not open her eyes and kept crying in a complaining tone. We thought of leaving for hospital. Then suddenly she opened her eyes and was well so it was a relief. I believe after this event some true father circuit switch got thrown on inside my head. I can't explain it nor understand fully. I had never washed and cleaned any of my children, this one I did. I never let one of them, or one of anyone disturb me, this one she owned me completely morning to evening until she went to sleep on my arm. I watched cartoons with her when she wanted. Took her out for rides, buy candy on the car or bike whatever she preferred. Or just play with her her games which included calling me names and giggling. This one child astonished my mother, wife and everyone for her unique ability to apparently control me however she wishes. However hot or cold outside, whatever it takes, her wish is my command. I never celebrated anything. Everything was a task. Now I do it for her. I stopped thinking of divorcing her mother because of her sake. Strange. But I think this was the missing ingredient. I think everyone should have a connection like this in order to enjoy life and I think life is meant to be shared otherwise a person can remain alone even if among hundreds. Though it was not me who facilitated this change. If I am away from my favorite daughter too long, we both cry. When we are together, doing homework or traveling, that time becomes special.

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I think that you have to look at each holiday as a day for joy and an opportunity to create new memories. Minimizing and keeping an emotional distance at the holidays feeds into the cycle of not being able to celebrate them. Try to view any upcoming holidays as a time of abundance. Give yourself permission to celebrate. Plan out a 3 course meal for just you and your immediate family, buy some nice decor and tablecloths/fancy looking napkins. Put on some festive/holiday movies. Bake a variety of desserts with your kids. Put on some formal clothes as a family and take lots of pictures at the table or in the living room with the holiday decor and get the photos framed and hung on your walls. 

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