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Bringing the Christmas Spirit Back


My mother is no longer interested in the holidays. Growing up we always had a live tree, lights, and homemade cookies at Christmas. She is not interested in any of that now. She would rather just bypass the holidays altogether. The holidays were wonderful in the past and they are not the same now.

I should note that my father died five years ago. Otherwise, my mother is in good health with some friends, children, and grandchildren. Is there a way to give her the Christmas spirit back? I just want my mother to be happy.


The answer is "maybe," but probably not right now with the same intensity you were used to. You see, your mother may not be ready for the old Christmas, the way you remember it. Your mother’s life has changed, and the old life she had is no longer.

Your mother lost her husband. Yes, I understand that you lost a father too, but she lost the man who she built a life with, had a family and raised children with, etc. That life is over for her. She may still be grieving the loss. In fact, she will always grieve that loss on some level. Asking your mother to bring back the past, when in fact she cannot, may be asking too much of her, even after five years.

Your mother may want to simplify the holidays because that causes her less pain. No, she may not speak of it that way, though that may be what she is doing. It may be time for new traditions or a fresh start to the holiday madness for her. It is okay for her to design a new path or approach. Try not to judge too much the choices she makes. Like all of us, she is simply finding her way, navigating the best she can.

It may be time to invite her to your home to be involved in your preparation for Christmas. Introduce her to new traditions and recipes, mixing in some of the old traditions. The most important thing is to be nearby if your mother wants the companionship.

One last thought, watch for signs of depression in your mother. While lack of Christmas spirit is not a sign, there is the possibility that she is exhibiting signs of depression that intervention could help manage. I recommend you check out the signs of depression at the Mayo Clinic website by clicking the link here.

I wish you the best with your situation. Your best bet is to personally engage and involve your mother, being patient with her in the process. That might just bring the Christmas spirit, even if it is of a completely new kind.


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