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A Letter from Brooke: On the Joys (and Stresses) of the Holidays

Wow, December already! Where did this year go? I have to say, I’m always torn about the holidays. I want to love them, but I always go into a bit of a funk. So many of the people I love are no longer with us, and this season really can amplify the lack of them. Everything is supposed to be celebratory, and I have a tendency to get a bit melancholy. But I’m learning to find mini ways to celebrate with rituals and traditions, including creating my own new traditions.

I used to host a big Christmas dinner every year, and there was so much stress in planning it all. The food, the accommodations, the details–it was ridiculous. When Covid hit, we didn’t do it, and then afterward we had a very frank conversation and I was able to say, I don’t want this pressure. It turns out it was very liberating to say we don’t have to do this

Now, I try to remember that it's okay to say no. I say no to parties all the time if I don’t really want to go. I’ve said yes to too many things in the past just to make someone else happy. My time is so precious to me, and it’s my own. You don’t even need an excuse–just “Thank you, but I'm unable to join.” Instead, I celebrate the season by avoiding the busy stores, having people over, having Chris cook, keeping my self-care rituals–and I revel in the traditions that actually feed me, like decorating the tree with my girls and sparkling cider for them and champagne for me.

There’s so much sadness and destruction in the world; people are scared and angry and there’s so much angst. I find that I'm really looking forward to some levity and a bit of humor, holding dear to the people close to me and celebrating each other. We have a lot to be grateful for, and I’m trying to be thankful and keep my heart open. The holidays are not about stuff, it’s about the people in our lives and our health. That’s what’s important. 

So this year, I encourage you to have a holiday reset, if you need. Make the season your own, and remember you don’t have to do something just because you’ve always done it. Prioritize yourself and your loved ones, and find new ways to celebrate. Happy holidays. 

xo, Brooke


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