Why the Most Wonderful Time of Year Can Also be the Saddest
Well, it's that time of year again. The day after Thanksgiving is officially the first day of the holiday season. This all begins with Black Friday sales which most stores promote in the hopes of getting you to shop there. There are some great deals on Christmas gifts if you are willing to stand in line at 3am and fight over parking with strangers. The past few years, things have gotten a little better with Black Friday sales starting early on Thursday night at 6 or 7pm or online to promote even more shopping. This is the first indication that the holiday season is upon us; the great desire to buy as many presents as possible for yourself and others.
The day after Thanksgiving is also when the stores start playing all the holiday and Christmas music. It's supposed to put customers in a good mood and encourage them to spend even more money, but for some people it's one of the reasons they feel sadness. There are also the decorations that stores put up in their displays. This is especially evident if you go to a large mall or department store like Macy's, where there are plenty of towering decorated Christmas trees. For the children, there is also the opportunity to get a photo with Santa. So all in all, Christmas is in full swing everywhere you look and there's no escape.
For most people, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. There's snow and everyone feels happy and blessed with their lives. People believe it's the time when miracles come true and anything is possible. Unfortunately, this is not the case for people suffering from depression. Depression is painful any time of year, but during the holidays it's much worse. To be sad at a time when everyone is supposed to be happy causes even more depression.
One reason why Christmas causes so much sadness in people is because of loss. To be lonely any other time of year is tough, but to be lonely on Christmas is much worse. Then you are bombarded with Christmas movies that show how Christmas is supposed to be like. It's supposed to be spent with family, friends, and loved ones. There is supposed to be a big dinner and lots of presents for all. Everyone is happy and laughing and just having a jolly good time. There is so much expectation placed on Christmas that no wonder it can be a big let down for many people. In reality, Christmas isn't like that at all for many lonely people, especially if they have suffered any type of loss. A death in the family can make this time of year seem like a cruel joke. It only makes you miss the departed family member even more. If you have recently broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, then Christmas is also sad and lonely because you're thinking back to last year and how fun the holidays were with your ex. Either way, you are not feeling the holiday season at all and hope that it passes as quickly as possible.
Many people dread the holiday season for a variety of reasons. One of them is the commercialization of Christmas. Everything is geared towards buying and more buying. Look at the commercials on television this time of year, it's all about where to get the best deals on presents. This begins with Black Friday after Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Eve with last minute shoppers trying to hurry to buy presents. It's like the meaning America has given to Christmas is buying presents. People forget that Christmas has nothing to do with buying presents but about the birth of Jesus Christ.
This brings in the issue of religion which many people either don't believe in or don't accept in their lives. Regardless, Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. That is the reason for the season. It isn't about presents or decorations because the reason behind the season is much greater than that. I think this is why Christmas causes depression in many people, it's because they have forgotten the true reason behind the holiday season.
So how do you deal when the world expects you to be happy and jolly but inside you feel like crying? The answer is to remove all expectations from Christmas. We don't place that much pressure on Halloween or any other holiday, and it usually makes it better. If you raise your expectations too high you are only bound to be disappointed. One way to remove sadness from Christmas is to spend it with people who mean the most to you. This doesn't have to be family if you don't get along, aren't close, or don't have any. Just spend the holidays with friends that you care about so you won't be lonely and sad. I would also suggest attending a Christmas service at a local church. Even if you aren't a believer or a regular church goer, it is important to hear about the true meaning of Christmas. This may help some of your sadness about the holiday season disappear.
Remember that many things about Christmas are geared towards children, so it's natural for an adult not to have much excitement about it. You obviously don't believe in Santa, but if you have children or nieces and nephews that do, maybe you could see their joy and excitement and feel it through them. The holiday season is about removing focus off yourself and thinking about other people. It's also a time to give back. The holiday season is a good time to volunteer your time and services to those in need. If you are blessed with the necessities of life like food, water, and shelter and still feel sad, imagine how a homeless or poverty stricken person feels this time of year. The best way to feel better about yourself and your life is to give back to others. Sometimes, it takes seeing another person's circumstances to truly appreciate your own.
To have a wonderful Christmas, remember to remove all expectation from it. Stop thinking of just yourself and start thinking and giving to others. Remember that the true meaning of Christmas is not all about giving presents and buying things, it is like the Grinch said: "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps, means a little bit more."
Is Christmas the happiest time of the year for you?
Someday at Christmas
© 2014 GreenEyes1607