Christmas Makes me Sad
Dear Sue Ellen,
I wish I was different, but Christmas makes me sad. My family doesn’t get along and I don’t have the money to buy my kids the things they want. What is the point of it all?
To hear that you (and others) are sad during the holidays makes me sad too. I wish there was something I could say or do to eradicate that emotion from everyone battling it during this season of expectations and celebrations.
Since I can’t accomplish what I wish to do, can we reflect on the point of it all instead?
Retailers all over the world would say the point is spend, spend, spend. Teachers and students would agree it’s about the winter break. People of faith would say it’s a religious celebration. Neighborhoods would claim the most important thing is determining who has the best holiday lights. Musicians would maintain it’s about the music, and artists would say it’s about the art. Friends would uphold the expectations of holiday parties. It seems to me everyone has expectations of what the holidays should be.
What are your expectations for the holidays? To be sad? Have you considered changing your expectations? Your children may not remember the presents they did (or didn’t) get for Christmas, but they will remember if you are sad or not. If your sadness during the holidays prevents you from baking cookies with your kids, or putting up a Christmas tree, or singing carols with them in the car; you might be more than just sad about unmet expectations. If you struggle with navigating through the season in a positive and productive manner, you might be depressed. Perhaps you should seek mental health counseling; there’s no shame in it. A good therapist will give you a new set of coping skills for times when you feel an overwhelming sadness. Depression is a common problem for lots of folks during the holidays. Is that you?
Give yourself and your family the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Get help.
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