Oh yes….soon, perhaps too soon after Halloween, society is literally pushed into Christmas!
Sigh! One can’t even catch their breath between Halloween and Thanksgiving before the same old 12 songs are on the radio, and all of the retailers are lighting up their stores with Christmas JUNK! Fa la la la la la…..blah blah blah blah…..
People either love this, or hate it! For goodness sake…what is the rush?! Well…for the retailers the rush is cash! Make as much as you can! The malls are well-decked with “balls of holly,” and the pressure to BUY is “in the air!” Even our little towns have their wreaths, trees or candles hung high on lamp posts! We are all “Rocking around the Christmas Tree” before the last of the Halloween candy has been eaten, or the leftover Turkey is gone…alas!
This time of year should be joyous and full of good cheer! However…for too many, the Christmas or “HOLIDAY” Season is the most depressing time of the year and for many reasons. Tragically, there are more “natural deaths” and suicides at this time of year too….
The media pushes much undue “pressure” on us all, especially at this time of year. “Every kiss begins with Kay (Jewelers)!” “What are you giving that special man in your life this year?” Christmas has become a HUGE COMMERCIAL PROJECT for retailers, and society is being plagued with what Christmas “should be,” rather than what it really is! This is nothing new. Nothing new at all. Its been going on for years and years!
The Season brings up a lot of “stuff” for us. “Stuff” like past Christmases such as when we were young, and the magic was much more present, the days we waited until Christmas were long and endless, family and relatives were abundant and we felt the spirit “in the air!” Or, conversely, we were sad, and watched our friends and/or other relatives relishing in Christmas, and longed for that feeling that our families didn’t or couldn’t provide. In either case, the “Holidays” bring us emotionally back to what “was” and we blankly or angrily stare at what they have become.
Consumer Reports polled Americans and found out that 68% of Americans dread “waiting in lines and crowds” 37% dread “putting on weight,” 37% “getting into debt,” 24% “seeing relatives” and 15% “attending holiday parties,” at this time of year. Then there are those who feel lonely without a relationship, those who simply cannot feel any sense of Christmas due to commercialism, bad memories and disappointments of the holidays as a child, or the loved ones lost over the years. In any case, there is a huge amount of fear, depression, disbelief and unfulfilled dreams of Christmas for many, many people.
For Christians, this is the time of year to celebrate the birth of their Savior! “Good will toward Man!” If we are Christians, it is high time to embrace that. Christmas is not sipping champagne with a new diamond on our body, or if we gave Uncle George the best gift ever! It’s certainly not racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars of debt, or “snuggling” next to the fireplace with Mariah Carey’s Christmas CD playing in the background! Relax!
Maybe your childhood Christmases were not filled with the “magic” of the “Toys R Us Time of Year.” But, guess what? IT’S NOT THE “TOYS R US TIME OF YEAR!” Christians need to remember. Christmas is the celebration of the arrival of your Savior. Where did all of this “commercialism” come from? Greed. Far from the true meaning of Christmas!
Christians, celebrate your “New Savior’s Birth” Don’t think about “Rocking around the Christmas Tree.” Celebrate what Christmas is, not what the media tells us it SHOULD BE!
We can all Defeat Depression, and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas if we remember what this Holiday is truly all about!
Leo Battenhausen, MSW, LCADC, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.