Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Secret to Happy Holidays

Holidays can bring depression. Instead of family, friends and fun, love, laughter and lights, what if the holidays were dark, lonely and empty for you.

Over 1/3 of Americans suffer depression and holidays can make it worse. While millions of Americans are shopping and going to parties, millions are not.

While the reasons vary with circumstances, there are some common denominators.
Expectations of perfection--trying to choose the perfect gift, plan the perfect party, find the perfect tree and decorations--help make unrealistic goals that can never be achieved.

My insecurities run rampant telling me that if I don't give my family the latest gift I might not love them enough. If I'm not invited to many parties, I might not have any friends. If I don't decorate beautifully, I might not have good taste. If I don't bake delicious cookies, my kids might have an unfulfilled childhood. If I don't spend alot, I can't keep up with the neighbors.

While glossy magazines are fun to look at, the guilt I feel from trying to accomplish what they sell, leaves me exhausted and searching for more this Christmas season. My soul needs Christmas...but not in frenzied fashion.

I want to be a serene and happy human being enjoying the sights and sounds of the season, instead of a frantic doer checking off her list and feeling empty. What can I do to celebrate this longing within me? How can I make Christmas a time for renewal, rededication and rejoicing?

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