I realize I may be stating the obvious here, but doesn't it kind of seem like the pressure of Must!Be!Joyful! this time of year is what makes people unhappy? I know it's different for everyone, and I certainly don't mean to say that anyone who does feel the joy should cram it or anything like that. It just seems like anything that can involve such high expectations of happiness and togetherness inherently has a big risk of sadness and disappointment built in.
I'm realizing that as much as I can come off as "bah, screw the holidays", I have this internal struggle going on with not wanting to care while also building up unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I do want things to be special, but feel like I can't make that happen. I feel like things are expected from me that are not. No one is telling me that I have to do it all, or any of it, but I have a guilty nagging feeling that I should. I feel like less of a person for not having or making some brilliant decorations, for not doing even a quarter of what my mom would do and still being overwhelmed by it all. It would be easier to care less. Maybe I am just as caught up in the whole "Oh, that's what the holidays SHOULD be" as the people that I find annoying. But like most things that matter, I have a hard time balancing importance with just setting it up to be a big old display of failure.
On another note, I know it's generally not recommended to put your expectations on other people, but at the very least couldn't people just try to be more considerate and a little less shitty towards each other, for a little while?
And another note, I really wish I had some paid vacation time.