Managing good mental health during the Holiday Season

Rebecca Cutler @ Beckiesmentalmess

Thanks to Beckiesmentalmess blog “Working on Us” – A series that represents people with mental health illnesses/disorders. This #week 24 question prompt is about how you manage your mental health during the holiday season. Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.

There are lots of prompts and I’ve chosen to write about this one:

Do you have a stable relationship with your family and/or friends during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?  If your answer is (YES), please give us an example of what the holidays are like with family and/or friends?  If you answered (NO), Please explain to us why not?

Despite the fact that we’re now all pretty much spread around the world, I have a great relationship with friends and family during the holidays, particularly over the festive season. Around late October I start asking everyone about their plans, if they have any, and see where we can all fit in some time together, on which days, whose home etc.

Photo: Michael Partenio,

We pretty much used to hold Christmas day in our home as it was large enough to seat 16-20+ guests, including the little ones. People used to sleep where they fell so everyone could relax and have a cheeky drink or two. I’d have a huge Norwegian pine tree delivered and decorated a day or two before as I loved it to smell and look great right through the holidays. I loved seeing all the presents under the tree, wrapped up pretty and decorated with ribbons, candy sticks, baubles and bells.

Dad’s a carpenter so he’d extend the table for us all and we’d have to borrow a few more dining chairs. Dad’s other jobs, his favourite, was to cook the turkey and to make the mince pies. The ladies would be in the kitchen singing Carol’s during veg preparation, making the stuffing etc while one of my sons made his cranberry sauce, before he moved onto the starter – normally some sort of seafood with accompaniments. My youngest son and often his best friend would be fooling around while making a dessert of their choice, singing along and getting the little ones to join in with the mixing.

I loved decorating the table in, call-me-boring – red and white everytime -with baubles, nuts, shiny star sprinkles, crackers and small gifts for everyone. I loved the excitement of seeing mum, dad and all my siblings together with my nieces and nephews, their little ones and usually an assortment of friends. How I loved the laughter, the giggling, the (quiet) screams of the children when they won the cracker-pulling with their grandparents or won a gift from pass the Red Christmas parcel. The groans when someone told their Christmas cracker joke, the clinking of the champagne glasses as we toasted everyone (including those that have passed). Even the scraping of the chairs on the wooden floor or the cutlery against the plates. The smiling faces as everyone caught up with their latest news and shared stories about Christmases past or holidays together. All the kids, big and small, loved hearing the tales about their parent’s past i.e. how we got a Christmas stocking with a few crayons, a small gift and an apple or an orange and some nuts in it. Nothing as sophisticated as today’s stockings.

Then came the games; cue more laughter. I mean, have you ever played Twister after a hearty three course meal and a few (hiccup) glasses of wine? In the evening we’d end with the cheese plate and port or some brandy and Irish coffees. Those that could, stayed chatting well into the early hours.

Guess what peeps? If you haven’t got it already – I just love Christmas! I love everything about it. I love that there’s no stress- as everyone helps out in whatever way they can. Anything after all that, for me, is such an anti climax. I don’t know why, but for that one day I can just be! And thankfully, I don’t think I’ve ever felt anxious (well a little but that’s with excitement) or depressed on Christmas day.

Pop on over to Beckiesmentalmess to see the other question prompts and tell us about your holiday season.


  • Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything, and/or narrative).
  • You can do one or all prompts.
  • You have from November 20th. through November 26th. to submit your entries.
  • Please reblog the original post in order to spread more awareness.
  • ( If you the blogger have a suggestion/question you want to ask in the future weeks, please submit them in the comment section of this post).
  • Let’s see if we can get some men involved in this week’s prompts, your viewpoint/feelings are validated here too!
  • Plus, as an added bonus, whoever responds to the following prompts will automatically be reblogged to promote your blog site and spread more awareness!


Mum to two amazing sons. Following recovery from a lengthy psychotic episode, depression, anxiety and anorexia, I decided to train as a Mental Health Nurse and worked successfully in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager. I am a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Youth and Mental Health Armed Forces Instructor. Just started my mental health from the other side blog.

30 thoughts on “Managing good mental health during the Holiday Season”

  1. Sounds like a real Christmas! My boyfriend has his birthday on Christmas Eve so we celebrate that – or really try to do it. We are invited by my parents-in-law and have a nice dinner all together. It is quite difficult to get people together with all ‘the obligations’ going on. The biggest party is January the 1st with the whole family and there is no way in skipping that one! Oh the Holidays ….

      1. That is true, it is the togetherness that counts. We always go and don’t stress anymore about who’s coming and who’s not.

  2. Yours sounds very similar to how my Christmas’s were growing up. I also love Christmas!! My experiences over the last 10 years have been completely opposite however and the family situation has added drastically to my mental health issues. I try to stay positive for my kiddos but it seems to be getting harder. Do you find that too many people are “too busy” for family and friends these days? Too materialistic?
    Regardless, I still make it a priority to drive around looking at Christmas lights, sing carols with the kids, talk about the story of Christmas and help my kids understand it’s about who’s around your table and not what’s under the tree. We always have a magical time just a lot more quiet than what I want 😀

    1. Aaaww, that’s a shame Ang – not what you need! Yes, some people are ‘way too busy’ these days and I don’t get to see people so often as I did 🙁 I do miss it. I’m hoping my boys will have little ones of their own some time soon lol as Christmas is much more fun when kiddies are around. Caz xx

      1. I’m still a long ways off from grandkids (my oldest is only 9) but for now I hold on to what we have and we’ve started our own traditions. Our house will be the house that holiday memories are made and longed for just like my Grandma’s house was to me!
        Yes Christmas is meant for tons of littles to be running around and keeping that spirit alive!

  3. Smiles. Loved reading your Christmas experience. So much love, merriment, fun etc. 😁

    I love Christmas too. Just love the aura it brings and the reminder of His great sacrifice for us!. Love love Christmas! 🙈😊

  4. It’s so wonderful your family is able to celebrate Christmas in a way that captures the true spirit! I hope you and yours continue to bring each other joy in the holiday season, even as people walk their individual paths. Having one day a year where everyone sincerely reaches out to support each other may not fix everything, but it sure helps! 😊

  5. Hahah I love it, but my inner Grinch is still grumpy about Christmas! I think I’d like it a lot more without the anxiety caused with my brother. If it’s just me and my folks, I adore that time of togetherness, being grateful, relaxing. I love that you love Christmas! xx

    1. Christmas is a time of year that I thoroughly do enjoy. For a lot of years the joy was watching my daughter open her presents and being with my family. Now I have a new joy of watching my granddaughter at christmas and being with my family. I hope you all do find a way to enjoy this time of year.

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