9 Types Of People Who Really Struggle During The Holidays

The holidays aren't for everyone.

Last updated on Dec 18, 2023

Woman sitting alone during the holidays Leeloo TheFirst | Pexels

Let's face it: The holidays are a time of depression, sadness, anger, grief, and frustration for a lot of people.

There are many struggling during the holidays. Not everyone enjoys them or looks forward to them, and there are some good reasons for these individuals.

Even though we all love to see our extended family members, the holidays usually come with some family drama. Obviously, any tension between family members is scrutinized by everyone else and, as the tensions rise, everyone is on edge until everything explodes.


And there goes your holiday from a fun day of swapping gifts and celebrating with your family, to a great argument that leaves everyone depressed, hurt, and probably crying, while you establish grudges that will continue to last.

Here are nine different types of people who have a hard time during the holidays, so make sure you show how understanding you are.

RELATED: Therapist Shares The 8 Phrases To Say During The Holidays To Make Sure You Hold Your Boundaries With Family

Here are 9 types of people who really struggle during the holidays:

1. Unhappy people

If you're unhappy, the holidays suck.


No other time of year brings with it so much pressure to be happy. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hanukkah! So much merriment, happiness, joy, and glad tidings.

If you're not feeling it, constant calls to be happy can become overbearing and annoying. It's a constant reminder that you're not happy.



It's easy to walk around in March without pressure to feel and look happy. "Happy March 16th" just isn't a thing. But in November through January, it's time to put on your "I'm okay" mask and act happy while thinking, "Am I the only one out there who's sad for the holidays?" (I'll answer that: No, you're not alone. There are lots of sad people walking around with happy-for-the-holidays masks on.)


2. Introverts

Between holiday parties and family gatherings, it's impossible to avoid people during the holiday season without being considered a Scrooge or Grinch.

If every host had a Decompress Here Room (DHR) where introverts could sit alone and play Bejeweled Blitz, read, or just enjoy the quiet, the holiday season would be much more tolerable for people who are exhausted by other people.

The holidays are also a time when invasive questions are fair game. Even "How have you been?" can feel like an invasive question for introverts.

3. People who have suffered a loss

Family and relationships are a central theme of the holidays. For people who have suffered the loss of someone close to them, the holidays can be a painful reminder of who isn't there.


It doesn't matter if you've lost someone recently, or if you're grieving the death of Aunt Betty in 1983. The holidays have the power to make any loss seem recent.

My grandfather died in 2005 and I still think of how he used to ring sleigh bells over the phone on Christmas Eve, from the time I was a small child until his last Christmas in 2004.

RELATED: My Toxic Family Ruined The Holidays For Me

4. People on a budget

If you're interested in staying out of debt, Christmas can be an annoying time of year.

The cost of decorations, gifts, more gifts, wrapping paper, scotch tape, airplane tickets to visit relatives, food to feed visiting relatives, and more gifts, gets really, really expensive, very quickly.




5. People who aren't crafty

For 90 percent of the year, it's possible to suck at crafts and home decor and go undetected. Unless you're a teacher and need to hire your babysitter to help you with your bulletin boards.

When the holidays roll around, it's pretty obvious you're inept when your house is the only one on the block without lights and you're handing people gifts in a plastic grocery bag because you can't figure out how to use wrapping paper.

6. Busy people

When I was a single parent working three jobs, raising four young children, and avoiding drinking water because I didn't have time to go to the bathroom, Christmas shopping, decorating, cooking, and socializing were completely overwhelming.


RELATED: Dysfunctional Families Love The Holidays For A Pretty Dang Sad Reason

7. People who didn't grow up celebrating Christmas

There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to Christmas. If the Santa Myth isn't second nature, it's hard to fake the magic when encountering children who might still believe.

An advantage of celebrating an under-the-radar holiday is that it probably hasn't been commercialized. The downside is that it's a little awkward driving around on Christmas day searching for Chinese food. (I did that once and was disappointed that the Myth of the Chinese Restaurant Open on Christmas was about as real as Santa. I settled for cereal at home.)

8. People with family problems

Your family problem could be a husband, lack of a husband, annoying in-laws, overbearing parents, a competitive sibling, infertility, past abuse — there are infinite possibilities.


The holidays tend to make these problems worse. If your relationship isn't perfect, it can feel like it completely sucks during the holiday season. If you don't have a relationship, well, there's always that aunt who tries to figure out what's wrong with you.

9. People who had a bad year

The holidays are a time when people reflect on the previous year and are supposed to find things to be thankful for. Sometimes that's hard. 

I don't send out Christmas letters, but if I did, a lot of years would include details like, "I enjoyed a variety of tasty samples at Costco and vacuumed up the raisins and animal cracker crumbs out of my minivans."


Those details would've made it into the letter to spare people details of illness, divorce, and death.

There's no right way to feel during the holidays. If you love the holidays and consider them joyous and merry, that's awesome.

Just know that you're probably encountering a lot of people who are faking it while thinking, "Is it January 2 yet?" And if you aren't happy during the holidays, you aren't alone. And you aren't a Grinch.

RELATED: For Anyone Who's Depressed This Holiday Season

Dani Bostick is an educator, speaker, and writer. Her work has appeared on Medium, Huffington Post, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, The Good Men Project, and more.