Finding God's Winning Spirit

Surviving the Holidays

December 2, 2015 | Greg Smith | Devotional


Every year about this time someone writes an article that tells us that we will have to “survive” the holidays.  I must tell you that I have never really understood this apparent emotional strain or dread attributed to the holidays.  As a therapist I have been asked numerous times to talk about the causes of this increased holiday depression. I would agree that if our attitude is one of dread and we expect the holidays to be bad then they probably will be. I just do not think it is this way for everyone.

Granted, this time of year is usually family oriented which can bring good or bad experiences depending on one’s relationship to family members. There are the issues of money and debt created due to shopping, travel concerns (especially if you fly these days) and various social obligations.

We may have to reflect back on loved ones lost during the year or other changes in our lives that have been painful.  Let’s not forget the traditional “new year’s resolutions” which indirectly causes us to take stock of our lives. The holidays for sure provide us with time to reflect on the past and evaluate or second guess how we view the changes in our lives - all of which affect how we feel.

Even though there is a lot going on during the holidays they don’t have to be bad – there is not something mystically evil here. Undoubtedly how we frame this time of year may hinder our holiday experience especially if it revolves around our expectations, goals and accomplishments.

Have you ever noticed that some folks revel in the Christmas season? They do not seem stressed or depressed. They go around with a smile on their face full of cheer and good tidings. How do they do that? My guess is they get the real meaning of Christmas. For them this time of year is not about them at all but rather is about serving others. It is not about me but rather about you, it is about loving our “neighbors as ourselves” and counting our blessings instead of our wants.


A hard thing to do if we leave Christ out of Christmas.

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