Friday, December 21, 2012

Depression at Christmastime

I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?

~ Charlie Brown.
Who hasn't felt for Charlie Brown, the lovable blockhead of A Charlie Brown Christmas? Charlie is your textbook social outcast who, instead of feeling joy at Christmas, feels depressed and let down.

Many of us can relate. Last night, on the eve of my 21st wedding Anniversary, we engaged in the traditional Pre-Christmas fight. It is an annual ritual created by the stress and strain of the holidays, that season of perpetual noise and hurry. A time of peace and reflection and reverence is what it is supposed to be but that never seems to happen anymore.

Christmas depression is a special kind of depression. It is a cocktail of equal parts guilt over things gone wrong, shock over how much things cost today, stress over an impossible schedule and a longing for a simpler time when the biggest stress you felt was compiling your list for Santa. It is enough to make a Grinch out of even the most gregarious elf.

12 days of Christmas are not nearly enough. We could have 12 x 12 x 1000 days and there would always be someone who can't make it because they A) have to work B) promised to cook a goose for Aunt Josephine or C) would simply rather fight and argue, being that it is too much a tradition to mess with.

Usually, it is C.

So, this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun. ~John Lennon
Coming at the end of another year of soaring expenses under our current fuhrer Obama, Christmas day will be more stumbled into than Joyously strolled into. Exhaustion instead of exhilaration, resignation instead of reverence.

No wonder people are depressed and frazzled.


It was a quiet and still night more than 2 Millennial ago. The only sounds were the bleating of the sheep and the crackle of the campfire. The Grinch had a point! Today, all we have is the noise, noise, noise, noise. If there is one thing I cannot stand, it's the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!

The Shepherds were not accosting each other with their staffs trying to get the latest toy, nor were the fretting over who would be where, when and for how long. This Christmas how I long for a moment alone, with nothing but the Gospel of Luke to read by candle light. Perspective.

We suffer at Christmas time because we try to ram Christmas into our schedules without ever letting it pierce our hearts. Tidings of great Joy! That is what the Angel brought. Many of you have reason in your life to be sad. Maybe you lost a love one. Maybe you are separated from someone or having a tough year. The point of Christmas is not the absence of a world without sorrow. The point of Christmas is hope that makes that world of sorrow bearable.

Isaiah 9
2 The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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