When Family Holidays are More Horror than Hallmark

Rose Bak
4 min readDec 21, 2019

How to Protect Yourself from Trauma and Strife this Christmas

Photo courtesy of Canva

“Some families are messed up while others are fine
If you think yours is crazy, well you should see mine” — Dropkick Murphys

There’s something about Christmas. It has a special ability to build up expectations and tear them down, over and over. There’s more trauma associated with Christmas than any other holiday.

If you and your family have those lovely Hallmark Christmases where everyone is happy and there’s never any stress or trauma, congratulations, you can stop reading now.

For the rest of us, let’s talk about Dysfunctional Family Christmas.

For many people, Christmas is fraught with disappointment, family drama and a sense of obligation. There may be mental illness or addiction in the family. There may be strong differences in politics. There may be years of grudges that can’t be overcome. There may be a lack of acceptance for someone’s life choices. There may be fighting and tears. In these cases, the question might not be “how to have a good Christmas”, but rather “how to get through Christmas”.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself this holiday season:



Rose Bak

Rose Bak is a freelance non-fiction writer as well as the author of more than 50 books. Find Rose's books at bit.ly/AuthorRoseBak .