Christmas...Season of Joy and Sadness
Every year in America the Christmas Season kicks off on the last Thursday of November when families all over the country celebrate Thanksgiving. For a few weeks every year hearts are light and everyone devotes themselves to surprises, decorating the home, and preparing for the one day of the year when it is more blessed to give than receive. At least that is the way it is supposed to be done. For many people it is exactly the opposite.
Children eagerly await Santa Clause and his bag of gifts on Christmas Eve. This is a time of great joy and happiness abounds. For some people the glimmer has worn thin and instead of great joy there is sadness. There are many reasons for this seasonal depression. This year it would be surprising if there were not an element of depression among the population.
Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sadness or anxiety
- Hopelessness or pessimism
- Feeling helpless, worthless, or guilty
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Unable to concentrate, remember details or make decisions
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep, awakening early mornings
- Eating too much or too little
- Suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide
- Headaches, pain, cramps, aches and digestive problems unrelieved by treatment
For more information check out the web site of the National Institute for Mental Health.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Quote from Mahatma Gandhi
- Live balanced lives
- Live by the golden Rule
- Forget the little things
- Take responsibility for their actions
- Get to know other happy people
- Be honest
- Smile. Look happy.
- Be passionate about life
- Look for opportunity in challenges
- Put the past behind them
Economic woes have troubled the United States for many years. Difficulty earning a living is one culprit for depression during the Holidays. Lack of money, increased expenses make this a hard time for many people.
Depression comes from many sources, and happiness is not something that can be bought and sold. It is important to look inside yourself and make a realistic assessment of your own personal situation. Why are you feeling depressed? Are you truly depressed or just a little out of sorts because of problems in your life? Some things can be fixed, and some things cannot be fixed. It is up to you to know the difference.
You make choices every day of your life and you can choose happiness if that is what you want. The first thing you have to do is do a thorough review of your situation and figure out exactly what is making you depressed. Have you had a death in the family? Are you out of work and unable to provide the usual Christmas gifts? Are you estranged from your family? Are you away from home and alone?
Many things can interfere with your happiness at this season and it is up to you to make the best of the situation. Of course you can always wallow in your situation if you want to but I think that will only make you more miserable.
If you are suffering from clinical depression get professional help.
What Can You Do About Your Feelings?
If you are suffering from clinical depression always seek help from a qualified professional. If you are a little blue and want to take a proactive approach to changing your feelings; there are things you can do.
Reflect on Your Feelings
Make a date with yourself to do some serious reflection. Think about times in the past when you were happy during the Christmas holidays. What was it about those days that made you happy? You may discover that it was not the expensive presents, but more simple pleasures. Try if you can to remember the happiest Christmas of your life. Focus on this memory and think critically about it. What was it that made you so happy? Was it the people? The gifts? The entertainment? What was your mood?
Write down in a journal everything you can think of about those happy times. When you do this you will have a starting point to making changes in your current circumstances.
During one such reflective period years ago I realized I was not looking forward to the Christmas season as usual. While window shopping I discovered that early Christmas decorations had been put out. I am not annoyed by finding these decorations early. I could enjoy Christmas all year round. As I strolled through the store a thought came to me that opened my eyes to my situation.
What are Your Usual Feelings About the Holidays?
Distance from family made me dread the holidays. I felt alone and dismayed at the coming Christmas Season. It was at this moment that the thought occurred to me that I had ALWAYS loved everything about Christmas. Christmas is a joyful part of who I am and who I have always been. Happiness at Christmas or any other season should come from within. Happiness or joy should not depend on others.
If you love the activities that are part of Christmas make a point to take pleasure in the sights and sounds of the Season. I love the religious ceremonies, the children’s choir, the candles, and the Christmas Story. These are things I love and have always loved. I choose to enjoy them no matter in spite of my circumstances.
You Do Not Need Money To Give Gifts
Take time to think about what you love and enjoy about the season. Try to bring back those old feelings of happiness. Do something for someone you know who is in need. If you are not up to extensive decorating, set aside a small area in your home for a Christmas reminder. Plan to attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service. Have a small intimate dinner with someone you love. Check out the local Holiday entertainment and make it a point to attend a festival or concert during the season.
If you have no money find a way to offer gifts of time, food, or something you can make yourself. Do not allow your circumstances to keep you from the joy of giving at this season. But above all remember the reason for the season. We are celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord! Rejoice!
- Merry Christmas From Our House to Yours
Christmas is a Season of Joy around the world. Some view the Season as polarizing but to those who love the sights and sounds of Christmas there is nothing comparable in all the world. Forget about spending money for things you cannot afford and do n
- Make a Pomander of Oranges, Cloves, and Spices
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Christmas Story
The Christmas story in works of art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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