Holiday Depression

For some of us, the Holidays are "the most wonderful time of the year."  For others, despite the best efforts of retailers, advertisers and media gurus, the Holidays can be a source of depression.

The Holidays are especially difficult for those who are alone, having no family members or close friends with whom to share the acclaimed joy of the Season.  Others do not have the financial resources to provide holiday gifts and meals for their family; the inability to meet those expectations is a blow to their self esteem.  Even those of us with close friends, family and financial security can be left with a sense of inadequacy; after weeks or months of preparation, our personal holiday experience cannot match the images displayed on television specials, in Hollywood movies or on the myriad of commercials that shower every form of media.  Indeed, after much anticipation, the actual Holiday seems to zip by and, in the midst of our disappointment, our attention is directed to the next one on the calendar.

Of course, much of this holiday depression is preventable.  Inviting neighbors or friends whom we know to be alone to join our holiday celebration can brighten the season for them and for our own family.  Donating time, gifts or money to community assistance programs can also be rewarding.  When it comes to our personal holiday letdown, we might take those commercials and specials with a grain of salt and choose to focus on the relationships that we already enjoy.  After all, not everyone lives in a picture postcard neighborhood with snow covered pines, horse-drawn sleighs and angelic carolers; most of us are more likely to identify with Clark Griswold and his clan.  Happy Holidays to all!