The buildup to Christmas is often absolutely frenetic. Loving parents go way overboard to ensure that there is no sense of letdown for their kids on the big day. Even without kids in the house, the season itself reminds us of how wonderful it is to receive great presents. There is a very real chance for many of us that we will experience downright depression, when Christmas turns out to feel anticlimactic, like a long, involved movie that doesn’t deliver a satisfying ending.
Couch Talk for the Disenchanted
What can really suck is that Christmas can make a Happy New Year difficult. Depression comes easy when the most wonderful time of the year falls flat. It can even serve to remind adults that the magic of youth is long gone and you may never get the magic back. But a psychiatrist or, heck, even a wannabe psychiatrist, could possibly help you avoid such negative thoughts. Here are some bits of advice, to help one get over the disappointment of an anticlimactic Christmas.
- Look your sense of letdown square in the face. Accept it. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with it down the road, when it will really kick your butt. It’s fear that would tempt you to avoid the reality of a sucky Christmas or feelings of depression that it’s over. By embracing your personal bad ending or spoiled and somewhat ungrateful sense of letdown, you can move on to better days and holidays.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and say things like, “I deserve good presents, and being me is a gift in itself.” Say something uplifting that applies to you! “It feels like nobody loves me, but that’s a lie. Christmas is all about One who loves each and every one of us, including me.” “I’ll be less of a hermit and more friendly so I’m not alone next year.” “Yes, I deserved nothing for Christmas. I didn’t like it, so maybe I’ll change a few things.”
- Look at your navel. Gaze at it. There’s a word for this kind of excessive self-contemplation, and it’s: Omphaloskepsis. You might feel better if you quit focusing on your own feelings and get out there and make other people glad they crossed paths with you. Then your next Christmas will have a whole new ending.
Christmas was never supposed to be about getting presents. It’s impossible to be letdown after Christmas, if you do all of your giving from the heart and don’t worry about whether anyone reciprocates. Keep being a giver, and the time will come when the Christmas-y kind of magic stays with you all the time, no matter how old you are.