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How to Deal With Christmas Depression - 5 Tips For Coping With Christmas Depression

Updated on June 16, 2016

Are you looking forward to Christmas Day and the holiday festivities this year? A time to celebrate the birth of the son of God. That special time of year when it feels like everyone is more tolerant and Christmas carols playing on the radio bring a tear to your eye as you anticipate the taste of turkey and warm fireplaces coupled with happy family memories that last a lifetime?

Or when you think of Christmas, do you say to yourself, "It's that time of the year again when old fatso flies around in a sleigh with his eight reindeer and his sack full of crap?"

I've felt the experience of both of those scenarios in my lifetime and really prefer the first scene of children all snug in their beds, with a light Christmas eve snow falling around the house and a manger with baby Jesus in the window. A typical image right out of a Norman Rockwell painting is the one I like best.

Traditionally, Christmas is a family holiday filled with images of couples and happy families. Not all families are happy ones. We all know that, but did you know that if your family stops talking when you walk into the room then it's You who is the black sheep, not your brother or sister, like you believed it was.

Depression can be contagious. Here are a couple of tips to help keep your spirit light if you are feeling depressed and sad this year.

Staying In The House Won't help You

1 - Get out of the house and spend some time volunteering. For absolutely anything - even if it is only to grab a sack of groceries for your neighbor who is house bound. Do you know your neighbor? Why not? Grab a couple of pieces of pie and go knock on their door to introduce yourself. Go Now.

2 - Go shopping for the worst Christmas present gifts you can find - for everyone on your list. Are you kidding me - Don't buy a single thing! Need some ideas - Here you go:

Contributing authors to this list include - Jeni Phelps, Nick Watkins, Nate Watkins, Kaya Singer, Johnny Kowal and Connie Early. Thank you for your suggestions!

  • Plastic jar lid opener
  • Bingo dabber
  • Back scratcher
  • Coat hangars
  • Tape dispenser
  • Toothpick holder
  • Toilet brush (get 2 - One for your boss)
  • Chia Pet
  • Gift certificate to a fast food restaurant
  • Fuzzy steering wheel cover
  • Framed photo of you
  • Bobble head for a car dashboard
  • Singing underwear
  • Fuzzy die
  • Thigh master
  • Beaver 'Bowl' shirts

Go ahead, fill your cart to over flowing and shop until you finish your entire list, then park that cart full of hideous gifts and go get a cheeseburger with fries and a milkshake - Supersize it! (Honestly, I'd rather see you walk around the building with a protein bar, but that's just me).

One Smile is Like A Ripple In The Water-Pass It On

3 - Sing. Out loud. Just sing.

4 - Is your phone ringing? Smile as broad as you can BEFORE you answer it. Not only will your mood brighten, but it will make the person on the other end of the phone wonder what you are 'up to.' The change in your tone of voice with a smile when you answer the phone is recognized by the person calling you. Even though you are invisible to them, it shows. You only feel like an idiot at first, but with practice that feeling goes away and eventually smiling before you answer your phone becomes habit.

5 - Is there nobody special in your life to buy you a present this year? - Buy one for yourself and wrap it in the most beautiful wrap you can find. Put it under the tree. Don't open it until Christmas Day. Write on the gift tag, "To Me, From someone VERY SPECIAL"

Give the Gift Of Time-The Best Gift

These are meant to be light hearted tips, but I understand that the holiday season is hard on people and that they may feel lonely, depressed and isolated.

If you find yourself with those feelings this year, please pick up the phone and call someone who you haven't talked to in awhile.

Mend a broken fence if you can.

And if you are still feeling lonely and depressed then surround yourself with people who are having fun - Go to a church function (whether you are a member or not), or join a group you meant to join during the year. You can't help but get a lift for your spirits just by being around happy people.

Do not sit at home if you can help it at all, because sorrow and self pity can be dangerous to your sense of well being and self worth.

If you are looking forward to Christmas with more dread than anticipation and stressed over a lack of money then ask yourself this, "What one gift have I received that meant the most to me that I can give to others? What one thing do I talk about over and over from that person who was especially thoughtful?

The gift of time, no matter what, will be told for generations to come. It is non-refundable and the most humble and sincere expression of love from the heart. Give those gifts out this year.

Put on your happiest face and celebrate YOU. Now applaud your effort and have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holiday, or whatever it is that you find to be thankful for, even if it's the fat guy with his 8 tiny reindeer and his sleigh 'full of crap!'

Do Something - Even If You Dance Alone!

How to Deal With Christmas Depression - 5 Tips For Coping With Christmas Depression Comments

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    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Hi TattoGuy! It's really normal to get depressed in January - The holiday is over, all the glitter, parties and celebrations are also over and it's RAINING outside normally (and weight gain from all those sugary holiday treats!) - I get depressed too, but with a little careful planning of family celebration time about mid to end of January, I give myself something to look forward to that helps take the edge off the 'gloom.' Glad to see you!

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Great hub, I always get depressed in January though, for some reason its a month that drags me down. I loved this line in you hub.

      "Do not sit at home if you can help it at all, because sorrow and self pity can be dangerous to your sense of well being and self worth."

      You deff hit it on the nail with those words, cheers for the uplifting wise words !

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Hi tonymac04 - Thanks! I get depressed too - holidays involving couples really used to be hard on me (when I was single)! I'm holding out for the singing underwear, myself, though! ;-)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      I really enjoyed this one! Thanks. Christmas depression is depressingly common - even I get it.

      Your ideas are great and the list fantastic - guess you all had a lot of fun drawing it up!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here - and I definitely need a backscratcher!

      Love and peace


    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Let me know where you find it De Greek! I'd like to nab a couple pair myself! Only YOU would want those for yourself, though! What a great way to find somebody in an airport - you could stand and lip sync the words! Nobody would be the wiser! ;-)

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Hi Katiem2 - Thank you! I have used all of these ideas myself, too - They came recommended to me from family and friends when I was experiencing an especially tough Christmas one year after my divorce. I was just heart sick that year and used these tips to help myself get through the holiday! For the first time in a long time, I found out who my neighbors were and it was truly lovely, although it could have been worse. I always loved to shop but my funds were tight that year so I used my own advice and ended up laughing up and down all the aisles I was in - People began following me. Joyfulness is contagious! Thank you!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I am off to buy that singing underwear :-)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      What a great bunch of ideas and many I've long adopted, I feel so validated. Thanks for the how to deal with the Christmas blues, depression and flat out down and outs. Great read :) Love, Peace and Joy :)

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      HI Global Worries and thank you! Excellent advice for anyone finding themselves alone - even if you aren't alone, but feel that way despite the merriment and people around you! Thank you! ;-)

    • Global worries profile image

      Global worries 7 years ago

      It is sad that so many people get so depressed at Christmas but it is common.

      My advice is to try and not spend the time alone. I knew someone who would go and do volunteer work for the whole day rather than spend it alone.

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Hi Kowality and thank you! Yes, it is my birthday today. I am blessed to have a birthday. They symbolize joy, accomplishment and hope for me. Having a birthday is common for most, but getting to have a birthday is my treat to myself. The holidays can be a tough time for a lot of people. Lord knows, I've had my share of sad holidays, but somehow got through them. I hope that at the least that this will put a smile on one or two peoples faces.

    • kowality profile image

      kowality 7 years ago from Everywhere

      Thank You for such a wonderful Hub MW. It can be a difficult time for some. You just made my Christmas season a whole lot more enjoyable. Happy Birthday to you also. December 6th is definitely a special day.