Ho Hum Holidays
by Chonda Pierce
Normally, I love Christmas! Normally… Last Christmas was an exception: I cried all day long. And from the outside looking in, there was no good reason to. I got wonderful presents. I gave wonderful presents. My entire family surrounded me. Yet, I wept like a baby because I was depressed. Nothing normal about that. Just so you know, IÕm better now—much better. I go to counseling and I take medicine. Two very normal activities if you’re dealing with depression.
Take heart, Christmas is not normal. An extraordinary thing happened with angels, and shepherds, and a manger, and, of course, the Messiah. There was nothing normal about that first Christmas. All the right things seemed to be in the wrong places. It is okay to feel like you are out of place. That is the normal way that depression feels during the holidays. And Jesus understands that! His entrance in the world had been discussed for centuries. The world had their ideas of how a King makes his entrance into the world—yet Jesus came quietly, and in an unlikely place. You are in good company. But don’t give into your feelings of despair. He was a King—no matter how the world may have felt about his entrance. And you are HIS child—no matter how you feel right now.
1. Don’t be afraid to cry, but limit your time. Give yourself five minutes to grieve. Time it and then get up.
2. Be honest with your family. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself. At some point in the day tenderly remind them that your depression has nothing to do with them. Trying to hide away strengthens the depression, so don’t isolate yourself.
3. Don’t try to do it all. Keep your Christmas lists simple. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with bologna sandwiches for Christmas! We do it at my house all the time. Let your celebration be about abundant life—not abundant tasks.
Check out Chonda’s latest book from Howard Publishing titled Laughing in the Dark.