Holiday Depression

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The unspoken truth of the holiday season…

Depression.

Let’s face it, the expectations are high, kids compete with kids and parents compete with other parents. Commercials don’t make it any easier. Go into a store and there’s a constant reminder of what the expectation is whether you can afford it or not.

You can’t escape the demands of the holidays. Religious or not, rich or poor, family or none, Christmas is expensive and can be awfully lonely.

So many discuss who they spend their holidays with. So many others discuss what they’re getting their loved ones or not.

People forget that there are people out there who feel fortunate to get a single phone call for Christmas.

I’ll never forget counseling a guy one time. He was thrilled. Happy as can be. I asked him what the cause was for so much happiness and he told me, “Well, I didn’t think I was getting anything for Christmas. My family disowned me due to the alcohol. I am too poor to cook. So, I went to the church dinner, played some cards, and the next thing I know, someone handed me a gift. They knitted me a hat!”

He pointed toward his head and showed me the blue and white knit beanie that he had on. He then said, “You know, Christina, this is the best Christmas I’ve had in ten years!”

A knit hat thrilled him. Weeks leading to that day, I was talking to him about ways to pass the holiday without focusing on his own demise. That’s right, Christmas brought on feelings of depression that were so thick he wanted to die.

Being a hundred percent honest, the holidays are very hard for most people. There’s hustle and bustle combined with a ton of pressure and a lot of feelings of loneliness and despair.

Every life has value and purpose. If you find yourself struggling through the holidays, find a local church to eat dinner at. Call an old friend. Write a letter to someone serving in the military. Find a way to distract yourself from the season.

If it’s due to money, please don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are a TON of programs out there. Don’t worry about your pride, we all need help sometimes.

If you’re one who loves the holidays, don’t forget to reach out to people who may be alone on Christmas. A phone call or two. A plate of food for a friend can make a huge difference. Remember all it took was a knit hat to make someone’s holiday special.

A Frame of Mind wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy holiday season!

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Christmas Magic

Green Christmas Tree With String Lights

I was feeling a little nostalgic yesterday. I was thinking about Christmas as a kid and how magical it was.

My parents were “extra”. They went all out for Christmas. I never had a bad Christmas. As kids, we were NEVER spoiled, except at Christmas time. My parents were so clever that I think I believed in Santa until I was a teenager.

In my mind wandering, I kind of started to think about how nice it was to have so much magic in our home. The excitement, the anticipation, the true knowledge that this one time of year was going to be a spectacular event. From sleigh prints outside to Rudolf’s nose lit in the house, Santa was something else.

I know I was fortunate to have magnificent Christmas’ as a kid. In some sense, I try to do the same for my kids. However, the truly magnificent part is the knowledge that Christmas doesn’t have to be exciting for just a child. Just because Santa kind of goes away, doesn’t mean Christmas isn’t magical.

In some ways, Christmas is even more exciting. You get to be that magic that people feel. And the cool thing is, it doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas. You can bring the joy, surprises, and warmth that so many don’t feel. Even better, it doesn’t have to cost a dime. It comes from a place so much deeper than that. It comes from your heart.

So, like the Grinch’s heart grew three times bigger that one magical year, mine will too. Who would have thought? The magic of Christmas time not on Christmas. What a concept! I hope that you will join me and offer your loving kindness as a little Christmas magic throughout the year.