During the second last week of October, I walked into a home décor store in search of a mirror for my apartment. I was expecting a pleasant and easy shopping session.

But that is not at all what I got.

Instead I was brutally assaulted by the store’s huge Christmas section which was already on display for the world to see. How is this possible I thought? It’s not even November yet. I swear it happens earlier and earlier every year.

Some call me a Grinch. I regularly hear the words ‘Ba humbug’ thrown at me by my family and close friends around this most “wonderful time of the year.” But the unfortunate truth is, I really do not like Christmas.

When people hear this, they usually gasp in shock. How could anyone dislike such a wonderful holiday? There must be something wrong with me. But trust me, I have my reasons.

I try not to be a “Debbie downer” and ruin how excited others get around this time of year but the thought of it as the festivities slowly creep up makes me more and more nervous all the time.

I can’t help it. Christmas is not a fun time of year for me. It is the time of year when I feel the most stressed out and anxious. Christmas anxiety I say, it’s a real thing.

I never felt any animosity for the holiday until after my parents got divorced. Now, I can’t help but dread it.

I have about six different “families” that want or expect me to spend Christmas with them every year. That’s a lot of Christmas dinners and way too many Christmas presents. How can I possibly do that in such a short amount of time? It’s impossible. It’s only one short day and I am not superwoman. I wish I could split myself up and not disappoint anyone, but I can’t.

Instead every year I am torn between where I should go and what I should do. Who can I disappoint and upset this year, I’ll ask myself. Well last year I spent New Year’s Eve with my mom and step-dad so this year I could go to my dad’s house for that part. Then this dad gets mad at that dad, and this grandparent doesn’t understand why you like the other grandparent better… It’s complicated.

I wish I could love Christmas and be just as happy as everyone else, not sick to my stomach with stress and anxiety every day of Christmas break. I think when I’m older I’ll become one of those people who skips Christmas and goes on vacation every year at that exact time.

But, for now I guess I’ll continue to trudge through it.

So when you hear that I don’t like Christmas or I can’t get excited when you talk about your favourite family Christmas tradition, please don’t get mad at me and make me feel worse. I already have a lot to deal with.