Defeating the Holiday Blues

Feeling the blues? 

How is your holiday shopping coming along? Is your Christmas shopping causing you to sing the Holiday Blues? If so, you are not alone. There are a lot of people suffering from the dreaded holiday blues.

Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time for family and friends. Sadly, it is also the worst time of the year because of the high rate of depression and suicide. Here is an article found in the Huffington Post. It is called “Why We Get Depressed At The Holidays, And How To Deal

For a secular liberal newspaper, the author has some good insights on the problems of depressions and anxiety. It is worth noting that one can suffer from the holiday blues and not celebrate Christmas in any form. Carolyn does give some good tips.

I would like to build on what she wrote. Do you know there are things you can do to help someone suffering from the blues?  My goal is to offer some ideas of how you can spread some sunshine into someone’s life.

Here is my first tip and it is quite simple. Let’s recall the reason for the Christmas season. We celebrate Christmas because of what the birth of Jesus represents. It’s a time to celebrate Hope coming into this dark world. Here is what Luke 2:11-15 says:

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

For those who love to complain about the placement of Christmas on this special date. I would like to point to a blatantly obvious fact. Did you ever notice that Christmas is just after the shortest day of the year? Did you ever think of why it is celebrated just before the New Year? There is more to it then placating a bunch of pagans. I honestly believe it to be my Father’s doing.

Because of its strategic placement, we have an easy reminder of the Blessed Hope coming into our world. Keep in mind, the day will continue to get brighter and brighter. The same thing is true for those, who choose to walk in the love of God, the Father, and His Son. For me, this reality has continued to grow as I walk with Jesus. How about you?

A second reason to celebrate Christmas is also important. It is an opportunity to spend time with our family and friends. Christmas was never supposed to be about buying the latest and greatest gifts or buying for everyone on the planet. At the same time, it is really is not a good idea to be totally alone.  

If you are able to do so then I have a simple suggestion. Why not invite someone over for some Christmas cheer? I am talking about Christmas dinner or a simple visit to their home. Either way, you would be showing the love of Christ and bringing some needed sunshine into their lives.  Keep in mind, there are a lot of people who have no one.

Here is another tip and it is an echo of what has been mentioned, elsewhere. Set realistic expectations for your gift giving. I live on a tight income and I’ve had to set some limits on what I can afford and who I can buy for. What does this mean? 

I stayed away from expensive toys and shopped at places like Five Below. Yes, you can get some good bargains at such stores. At the same time, you get what you pay for. Don’t feel bad because you went to a thrift store or a Dollar store. These are not the only places. I have found some good bargains online at Walmart and Amazon.

Here is a follow up to the above tip. Plan your shopping in advance. I have found that if you begin your shopping early, it becomes easier to afford nicer gifts. One month, you could shop for one group of family members and another group on a second month. This is one tip best reserved for next year’s Christmas shopping strategy.

Here is another idea and it is relatively free.  Have you ever received a singing telegram on your phone? I know a few people, who received such a gift. In the days before Christmas, they’d get a message on their phone and it is a recording of someone singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. Such a gift requires time and a willingness to give of yourself.  It is not easy; especially if you are not a good singer.

I have one friend, who loves to send out ecards from Blue Mountain. It is free if you do it within 30 days.  Those cards are quite beautiful. Plus, you have the ability to enter your own little message. These Flash-based ecards have always been a treat. This is just another way to spread Christmas cheer into someone’s life.

Here is another way to surprise someone and be anonymous. Why not play Secret Santa or participate in your community’s Angel tree. Some people call it a Friendship tree. The idea is quite simple. Here is how these trees work. The organizer typically has a list of people and suggested items to buy. Select an item and buy it. Check with the organizer to see if you are to wrap the gift or not.

Here is the best part. No one has to know that you are the giver of that gift. This is why we used to call these people, Secret Santas. 

I hope this article has given you, some ideas for spreading the love of Christ and shining a light on someone’s life. Let’s not get caught up with the price tags. The gift of your time, treasure and talent can be quite valuable. Let’s help someone defeat the holiday blues.

Barry Brindisi

Author of “You Are Not A Lesser Human”.

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