Festive Season: Why it's Okay Not to Go Home During the Holidays
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[OPINION] It’s OK to not go home over the festive season

13 Dec 2017 LIFESTYLE

By Nomali Cele

The fact is that not all families are a warm source of joy and support over the festive season. Despite what the movies and songs tell us about how families should be and how they should feel, it’s not always the case. Of course, it’s not okay but the key to you moving on on it acceptance.

Are you wondering how to know if you shouldn’t go home for the festive season? Answer the following questions honestly and if most of your answers are “yes,” give yourself the freedom to not go home this festive season.

Is it a toxic environment?

No matter how much you love your family there are just things love cannot justify. When you are awy from them, it’s always easy to try and find their love for you in the little things they might do or say. But if all that happens when you are together is emotionally and mentally taxing then it’s safe to say that that’s not an environment for you to be in.

Do you always end up fighting?

When you miss your family, it’s easy to forget the ways in which you make each other angry or the ways you make each other feel invalidated. But once you’re back home it will all come back up. Do you want to spend your festive season fighting with your people or do you spend the festive season peacefully? There’s no point of going back home if you will inevitably end up in a fight with your family.

Do you leave broke?

We all tend to behave badly during the festive season where money is concerned and a way to change that that is to find the catalysts for that bad behaviour. If the moment you land home there are cousins asking to hold some money or if you end up spending money on things you didn’t budget for, going home is bad for your finances. If going home over the festive season ends up being an exercise in bad budgeting stop balling or go home anytime but the festive season.

Are they welcoming?

Check whether you are wanted. It might hurt to confront that you merely go home over the festive season purely out of habit or because everyone is doing it and you don’t want to be left alone. But if your family is not enthusiastic to have you around, don’t make the effort or spend the money getting home.

While “going home” and being with family is what we are taught the holidays are about, the festive season shouldn’t be something you need to emotionally or mentally recover from. Your mental health is more important than going home because that’s what’s expected of you. Create your own festive season traditions away from your family.