I really hate this time of year. It gets chilly (or downright cold) and overcast. These two things tend to take their toll on me. I suffer from Bi-Polar disorder along with Seasonal Affective Disorder. To top it off, it is the "Holiday Season" where everyone is supposed to be merry. I rarely see this.
First there is the fight about Christmas and stores saying "Merry Christmas". Christmas is just one of the many holidays that take place during the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year so "Happy Holidays" is more inclusive. It's not a matter of keeping "Christ" in Christmas so much as trying to have people see there are other holidays. No one wants to remove anything, but they may not want their holiday bullied away.
Second, people (same ones screaming for "Merry Christmas") are rude and inconsiderate as they jostle for all of those gifts under the tree. A tree is part of Yule, and is thus, Pagan. All of the lights that people oooh and aaah over represent the light which is symbolic of both Hannukah and Yule. What you see and hear is anger and frustration when people put these symbols up.
Third, there is dealing with family - some you want to deal with and some you may not. You may be estranged from some family members with little chance for reconciliation since they do not want to talk. It can feel like there is an emptiness you carry around (here, too!!).
So, no, I don't smile as much during this dark time of the year. I don't feel like it. I fake it as best I can. Fake it til you make it, right?