After Christmas Blues: Hope for Desolate Days

Renee Ann Smith —  December 27, 2012 — 27 Comments

blisstree woman with holiday blues christmas lights1Now that Christmas is over, are you dreading the letdown that comes with the return of your routine? You know how it will go. In your quiet moments, you’ll feel a little down. Then you’ll find yourself wanting to cry for no reason. Soon you’ll feel that inescapable longing for something you can’t quite put into words. And that’s when you’ll know you’ve caught a full-blown case of Post-Holiday Depression . . . Or maybe you think that finally this year you did everything “right” to avoid the syndrome . . . 

Here’s a quiz for you. Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario 1: You’re healthy and have a stable job, but you’re vaguely dissatisfied and often lonely. You spent weeks dreading the holiday. Your Christmas celebration fell flat. You’re certain that everyone else you know—the folks you work with, your neighbors and friends—all are happier than you are.

Scenario 2: You have a happy marriage and loving family. You spent weeks planning the perfect holiday. Your Christmas celebration was lovely and meaningful. The meal was the best you’d ever produced. You spent time with your family without any major outbreaks or fighting.

Question: Which of these scenarios will most likely lead to a good case of post-holiday depression?

Answer: Either one!

Because depression is all about feelings that attack us in spite of the truths we know in our heads.

rain460It doesn’t seem to matter if we’re single or married, going through a rough patch or living an uneventful life, when the after Christmas blues seep into our souls like a cold rain on a chill winter’s day.

For some of us, holiday time brings to the surface our failures, griefs, broken dreams, and unmet longings. And we wallow in them. Oh, we know better. We tell ourselves that life is not a Hallmark movie. That we’re expecting too much. That no husband, friend, or loved one could live up to our expectations. After all, there is no person in existence who can meet all our needs, always be there for us, know us inside and out and love us anyway, make our wildest dreams come true . . .

Or . . . maybe there is . . .

C. S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a longing which nothing on earth can fulfill, the most likely reason is, I was made for another world.”

For me, this quote brings home the fact that nothing in this world will satisfy us forever. Oftentimes joy accompanies our journey, but God did not intend for us to find our ultimate happiness here.

So our blues can be a reminder that even the best earth has to offer will leave us wanting more. That even the most wonderful experiences are only a foretaste of what God has in store for His children. And somehow allowing my blues to serve a purpose gives me more strength to endure them.

How about you, friends? Are you bracing for an emotional hit come January? Or are you ready to give comfort and hope to those around you who may be hurting? Be assured, I pray for each one who leaves a comment!

Now that we’ve identified the source of our blues, what do we do about them? Tune in next week for Pt. II.

***This is a reprint of a post from Christmases past!

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Rachelwojo, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tell Me About It Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, God Bumps, Wednesday Walkabout, Think Outside the Blog, Word-filled Wednesday, Thankful Homemaker, Wisdom Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things,Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Thoughtful Thursday, Life in the Comments, Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Friday @Homemaker by Choice, Just for Fun Friday, Fellowship Friday, Womanhood with Purpose, Weekend Whatever, and Heart Reflected.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

27 responses to After Christmas Blues: Hope for Desolate Days

  1. Great post, fortunate I am so not suffer from the holiday blues. thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  2. A great post! I, like Katherine, don’t get the blues post Christmas. I find it a restful time after the Christmas rush. It’s time of reflection and planning for the new year. But I do know many who are disappointed in either their gift giving, or their time with family. Their expectations are often unrealistic, expecting too much from those they love, as if what is given is a measure of that person’s love. Simply “to be” can be the greatest gift of all, to oneself and to one’s family. I wish you and your family the best in the new year.

  3. Hi Renee,

    I am very fortunate that I don’t suffer from the after holiday “blues”. I always look forward to the new year and view it as a clean slate. You have some wonderful information in your post. I’m co-hosting this week with Katherine at Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you will stop by for a visit. Wishing you all the best in 2013.

  4. Popping over from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop. Thanks for highlighting one of the downfalls of the holiday season. I’m not feeling blue yet so I hope I will avoid this anticlimactic state this year. pop on over and say hi

  5. Blog hopping – nice post. The only sad thing about the end of the holidays is the end of my vacation – smile!

    • What a great blog, Antoinette! I’m so glad you left I comment so I’d hop over and visit you. I, too, will be sad when vacation ends. But I’m a teacher so there’s always hope for snow days. Blessings!

  6. I can find myself in the middle of a pity party if I let my mind run away with me. My strategy? Plan something fun in the middle of all the mess. It definitely helps to have something to look forward to! Thanks so much for linking up, Renee! 🙂

  7. Great thoughts Renee. I am not one that usually suffers depression, but it has been known to happen. My family are still here so I might have a bit of a letdown once they all go home. But I’ll have something else to occupy my mind…my husband retires today! And I applied for a job in the school library that I used to work at. So lots of exciting things happening in the new year! Hope your Christmas was full of blessings! Are you getting any of the storms coming through? Stay warm! 🙂

    • Julie, congrats on your hubby’s retirement & your new job. I thought I saw some retirement party pics on FB. My Christmas was lovely–hope yours was as well. We are in the middle of a mini-storm right now. We’ll see how deep the snow piles up! Blessings!

  8. You always have such insightful post. I just marvel at your thoughts. Yes, indeed I have had many a January blue moment. I try to make it a short. Perhaps, this year I will escape it all. I do find if I keep focused on my new goals it sometimes helps. Thanks for your powerful thoughts and blessings to you!

  9. Renee,
    Thank you for your post. I absolutely love the C.S. Lewis quote. It’s a great reminder that our relationship with Christ is the only thing that will truly satisfy our souls. You articulated this truth well. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you this new year. Lori, from Hungry for God; Starving for Time.

    • I left you a comment on your blog, Lori, but wanted to post here also in case you hop back over. Thank you so much for taking the time to add your thoughts! I enjoyed reading your blog. Blessings!

  10. What a beautiful encouragement, Renee! I especially liked the C.S. Lewis quote. It’s true. There is a deep longing for eternity within us that nothing on earth can satisfy. 🙂

  11. Yes! I have often reminded myself of this Lewis quote and the truths you so well articulated in this post. My Christmas was good, but that doesn’t keep me from dwelling on the disappointments instead of focusing on the Lord. Thanks for these reminders.

  12. My favorite line: “even the most wonderful experiences are only a foretaste of what God has in store for His children”. What a beautiful message. I am certainly doing some heart evaluation today-thank you for your wise words and reminder of GOD’s unmatchable goodness.

    Carly from Missional Women

  13. Thanks for sharing this post over my way at WholeHearted Home this week. This is good advice for whenever depression hits us. Thanks for taking the time to pray for me, and I will pray for you also!!

  14. Great post. I don’t typically have post-holiday blues, but I do often have new year blues when I fear that I don’t have a clear path heading into the new year. Love this!

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