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“Tis the Season” My Cup Runs Empty

December is a rough month for many of us. Grieving the loss of loved ones, increasing demands at work, and buying people GIFTS.

Now I know someone reading this is a gift giver, but for anyone whose love language is not gifts, December can feel like a complete drain. People sharing their list can quickly feel like demands that we have to meet. We have to exchange our hard earned money to fill the “happy pots” of others, while reflecting on how we struggled throughout the year.

Can I tell you this feeling is NORMAL. For many, the holiday season comes with the honest truth….that we have a habit of neglecting ourselves. That when people request a little bit more, it is too much.

Here’s a question: What boundaries do we need to set around others' expectations of what Christmas will be like this year?

  • I am only spending $__ this year.

  • I will let my household choose to get either 1 big gift or 3 small gifts.

  • I will host Christmas at my house but it will be a potluck and I am hiring a cleaner.

  • I won’t stay the night at my family’s house but I can visit for 4 hours without getting triggered.

  • I will not use a credit card to buy gifts because I do not want the stress of more debt.

  • I don’t value gifts so much, so I will plan to do something that I’ve been wanting to do to create a meaningful memory.

  • When I spend time with my extended family I am going to talk about memories of the loved ones I miss.

  • I will do crafts and cookies with the children, instead of buying alot of gifts.

Tis’ season doesn’t have to be a time where we set ourselves up to possibly get our needs met as we sacrifice for others. Choose to regard your needs throughout the whole year so when December comes, your cup can overflow.

Happy Holidays,


Shanelle Koroma is a mental health therapist, life/wellnes coach, and Co-Founder of the Ujima Retreat Center.

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