Enjoy your own holiday, not the one on social media

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

Maybe you’re very happy with your holiday season, and that’s a good thing. But for some, the stress of the season is only magnified when your Christmas traditions feel insignificant next to the picture-perfect ones you see on Instagram.

Forget the annoying online influence of those presenting their Christmas gathering masked by the Clarendon filter, and lean into your own. If people are posting solely in order to outdo someone else or prove to their 1,346 followers they have an incredible holiday, it’s likely they aren’t as happy as you can be this season.

Everyone sees those perfect holiday celebrations online, and if you’re on social media, it’s pretty much unavoidable. Anything can look amazing on a camera behind a filter. You’ll see parties and get-togethers between families and friends, and you may feel like you’re missing out or lacking in that department. Newsflash: You aren’t, or at least, you don’t have to be.

If you enjoy your holiday celebrations, however untraditional or unconventional they may be, then that’s all that matters. Always feel free to post about your holidays, but make sure you’re doing it for your own reasons. Last we checked, envy, pride and jealousy don’t fall into the spirit of Christmas.

This holiday break, if you struggle with feeling lesser than, we encourage you to block out the noise as best as you can. Maybe you think your Christmas is boring. Maybe you feel trapped away from your friends. That’s unfortunate, but in every bad situation, you must know what you can and cannot control. Make the holidays better where you can, and know you have the ability to make things as good as possible.

The Christmas season does not have to be a sad or stressful time, but it can be. So, should the holidays be anything but merry and bright and should it feel like the world around you is having a holly jolly time, remember that everyone has their own traditions and celebrations, including you.

Lean in to what makes the time fun and special for you. Make it the best that you can and know that that is enough. At the very least, have yourself a merry little Christmas and come back next semester relaxed and ready to tackle anything.