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Post-Christmas Blues

The holiday season will soon be over. The bright lights of Christmas will disappear. The decorations will come down and be stored away. The Christmas gifts will have all been handed out and even the New Year’s celebration will be over. The noisemakers, the Times Square New Year’s Ball, the parades, the bowl games will be things of the past and what lies ahead – the deep, dark winter. Frigid temperatures, icy roads, very little day light, another thirty-two inch snowstorm? Well we don’t know for sure what it holds, but we do know that winter can be hard on our psyche both our individual psyche and our group psyche.
A good example of how post-holiday depression affects group psyche was the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. The German Sixth Army had been surrounded for weeks under incredibly harsh winter conditions. Dwindling supplies, food, ammunition and sub-zero temperatures made their resistance to Russia’s Red Army almost impossible. Yet they fought valiantly through December to Christmas and then the New Year. The holidays had given them hope. Then shortly after New Year’s, they could fight no more. Their hope had ended and they surrendered.
Many of us as individuals suffer a little dip as the holidays end. The excitement is over and the day to day existence returns. If you’re one of those folks dealing with post-holiday blues, I have a couple of suggestions for you — one spiritual and one practical.
The spiritual one is simply this: you have just spent weeks preparing for and finally receiving the good news of Christmas and it really is good news we all received. Jesus Christ, the Savior of us all, has been born. God loved us so much that he sent His son that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. Can there be better news? That news can do a lot to brighten the darkness of winter for all of us.
The practical suggestion to help us deal with winter blues is this: Remove yourself from your daily focus. Concentrate on doing things for others: church friends, family, acquaintances, people who are sick or simply lonely. Phone calls, cards, notes, emails, texts, visits, words of encouragement – all these make a huge difference to the recipient and the giver. The recipient feels better and the giver does too. Not only that, when you’re focusing on others, when you’re helping them, you’re certainly not thinking about your own winter blues.
Giving of yourself is great personal therapy. It’s good for you in so many ways including getting rid of post-Christmas blues.
Pastor Rod

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