Tis The Season
December 3, 2015
OK, everybody take a deep cleansing breath…now exhale slowly. Chill out, take a break and savor this short-lived lull in the Holiday Season. We’ve already made it over the first two major holiday hurdles—Thanksgiving and Black Friday. And we’re all thankful that the shopping is well under way. Now there’s an ever so slight pause before Krampusnacht (the eve of December 5th) so there’s a kind of temporary limbo before the Holiday Season shifts its direction and takes off on a jubilant downhill run.
Most folks will look at and use this time to let the joy of the Season begin filling their hearts (and emptying their wallets). Gearing themselves up, their excitement mounts, as the race rounds its final turn towards the festive finish line for the climatic grand holiday finale—Christmas. Tragically, many poor souls will find themselves stranded on the sidelines and a few of them won’t even finish the race.
For some, the merriment of the Holiday Season also brings with it seasonal depression, clinically known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD (how appropriate). This is usually brought on by the stress created by the holidays. The shopping, meal preparations and attempting to properly execute age-old traditions can take its toll on the human psyche. In addition, a lot of folks get a strange sense of detachment during the holidays and feel as though they don’t belong among the festive cheer. Others may have suffered a loss or faced a devastating tragedy in their lives during the year and the Christmas season just serves as a sad reminder and drives their sorrows home. At a time when the world around is in a whirl of joyful celebration, some folks are thinking the darkest of thoughts.
In recent years it has become harder to spot and assist those who need a little extra “holiday cheer.” This due in large part to the Bah-Humbug Movement which has made it popular to adopt a Grinch-like attitude towards the Holidays. So it’s difficult to tell whether someone’s actually suffering from depression or just trying to get attention by being trendy.
For those of you who aren’t just being your self -centered little selves and pretending, you have this writer’s upmost support. There is no way to search out and individually assist you all, so we’ll do what we can from here. What follows are some suggestions to help survive the Holidays.
1. Keep your yuletide expectations modest and realistic. Don’t get hung up on what the holidays are supposed to be like or how you’re supposed to feel. If you’re comparing your holidays to some abstract greeting card ideal, they’ll always come up short.
2. You can drive yourself insane trying to find that “perfect gift” for everyone and you don’t have to. Unless you’re dealing with specifics for close family, generic gift cards or cash are an easy out to holiday shopping stress.
3. You do not have to attend every social or family function you’re invited to. What’s the point in traveling all over hell and creation to spend a few moments with everyone you know, then being so stressed and exhausted it all just becomes a blur?
4. There are no set rules of how little or how grand your decorating must be. Do what works for you and makes you smile. Everyone else can either like it…or get the f*** over it.
5. If you truly feel like the holidays are getting the best of you, let those around you know how you’re feeling. Then they can be more supportive and understanding of what you’re going through. They can’t help what they don’t know about.
6. The reason for the season is to give of yourself unto others. However, if the need arises, do unto yourself. You can’t share joy unless you find it for you first.
7. Lastly and most importantly—if all else fails, there is no law saying you have to do anything for Holidays. There is nothing wrong with simply ignoring and skipping the holidays and holding out till it’s all over…apparently it’s the cool thing to do.
Well hopefully, if nothing else, this will give some of you a starting block towards getting through what, for some, is a very difficult time of year. I look forward to seeing you back here next week so we can work through the Hellidays together.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!