Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Depression or a Holiday from Depression

I struggle with depression. Sometimes it's severe. Sometimes it's not so bad. Either way, it is persistent. I'll give it that.

I know that a fair number of people who suffer from holiday depression, for a wide variety of reasons. They include: unmet expectations, fond memories of Christmases past that pale in comparison to Christmas present, painful memories of difficult Christmases past that intrude upon Christmas present, high stress trying to get ready for Christmas followed by the letdown of when it's over, and so on.

I often get to take a holiday from my depression during the Christmas season. I take time to listen to my favorite Christmas music, Christmas devotionals and Mo Tab Christmas specials that allow me to bask in the spirit of the season. I must confess, I forgot to do that this season. I guess I got too distracted to take the time to feel good. Seems a bit silly, now that I think about it. I mean, I did listen to and watch several inspiring shows. I had some really good moments. But I didn't make room in my heart for the Christ child to stay very long.

Fortunately, it's not too late. Christmas might be over but Christ is not. And honestly, nothing helps me take a holiday from my depression more than making room for the light of Christ to burn brightly.

Depression is dark. Christ is Light. I know which one I prefer.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nobody Cried

My idea of a successful Christmas, for the past several years, has been if none of my children cry on Christmas day. They've been known to cry because they didn't get the gifts they wanted or another sibling got the gift they wanted or the day was too short or too long or something or other.

This year, nobody cried.

Perhaps it's because my children are getting older. My oldest is 17. The youngest is 12. Perhaps it's because I listened carefully to what they wanted, purchased the gifts, and nobody changed their mind at the last minute. Or, perhaps it's just the luck of the draw. I don't know.

But this year, I am grateful.

Not so much because nobody cried on Christmas day. I am grateful for that, to be sure. But I am grateful that we are a family, that we're still a family. That we seem to have weathered the storms, against the odds in many cases, and we're still afloat. We've taken on water. We've had our trials and we're still struggling through them. But it seems that, so far, right has prevailed.

I love it when right prevails.