Now that Christmas is over, are you feeling a little down? Do you find yourself wanting to cry for no reason? Do you feel a longing for something you can’t quite put into words? You’re probably suffering from a case of the after Christmas blues.
Not so sure? 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 blues?
Answer: Either one!
You may have thought you did everything “right” to avoid the syndrome this year and were surprised when it hit you anyway. But depression is all about feelings that attack us in spite of the truths we know in our heads.
It 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.
Somehow allowing my blues to serve a purpose gives me a tad more strength to endure them.
Now that we’ve identified the source of our blues, what do we do about them? Tune in later this week for part II.