Well are you ready for Christmas yet? NO? Me neither. In fact it seems that every year I’m getting further and further behind in preparations for Christmas. It doesn’t matter though, it comes whether I’m ready or not. This year though I’m amazed at how many people I run into who “just wish it would be over”. Wow, what a sentiment. This is a clear symptom that we’ve all become too commercial with Christmas. Too much to do, too many presents not bought, too many cards not sent, too much to be done to get the house ready for guests.
Is this where you are right now? Do you have those holiday blues? You are not alone it that. Millions of Americans are finding the holidays distressing. One of the major holiday psychological reactions is Depression when it should be joy and love. How many people do you know who are spending their first Christmas without a loved one due to death, divorce, moving, military service or other types of separation. How many are feeling low because this season reminds them of joyful times or even painful times past when they were with loved ones. Perhaps you are one of those. Depression is real in each of these cases. Christmas is a time for celebration, but separations do not often lead to celebration or joy. Our tendency when we are depressed is to isolate ourselves from others, to turn down invitations, to dread doing the things we know we should do.
It is important thought that we remember that the reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s not about us, but about Him, and about God who sent His son as savior of our world. Celebrate? I know that seems impossible when you are depressed. It is very hard to look past our own needs during a holiday. But, knowing that there are so many others in this situation perhaps there is a way to both get our mind off our problems and help someone else. One way to help both ourselves and others get focused, is to find someone who is hurting because of separation or some other reason and make them a part of your Christmas. Invite them…even insist, since depressed folks tend to say NO…to come spend time with you, or help you do the things you need to do. If you are one hurting from separation, loss or other depression, find others who are also hurting. Join with them and help each other understand the reason for the Holiday and reason we rejoice. You may want to set aside some of the worldly focus at Christmas time and aim at the real reason for Christmas. In celebrating Him, we can take our minds off what is wrong in the world and begin to understand and celebrate the gifts God has given us.