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The Gift that no one talks about during Christmas

A few nights ago as I was on Grandma duty I look towards the television and had a thought. What on earth am I watching? As we prepare for the holidays all the commercials are selling us “good cheer.” Smiling faces, bright colors, pretty packages, nice catchy songs, lots of food and drinks. But one thing no one is talking about is how this time of year causes many to suffer from feelings of Depression.

Depression during the Holidays

Though feeling depressed can happen at any moment this particular time of year may be difficult for some because of the following:
-lack of social life
-poor family connection
-lack of friends
-job loss
-breakup in relationship
-loss of a loved one
-a higher sense of anxiety

Consumerism is at its highest level right now. Buy buy buy and that's how you show love. Spend spend spend and don't worry about anything else. But where is the value? Where is the connection?

illustration by beliefnet

Who stops to think about that family that is barely making ends meet? That is just surviving and though they wish they could buy their children something extra they just can't put together the cash. What about the man who may have lost his job? Should he be concerned about presents or about paying his bills?

Speaking for myself though I do not suffer from Depression I do have moments of sadness when I stop to think of how the real meaning of this holiday has been lost. You stress because you can't just Gift a little something or else people will think you are cheap or you can't not Gift that one because so and so will say something. What on earth!

I remember being grateful to receive one gift, now it's almost expected to receive at least five. I remember the struggles my family went through to just make it simple and nice for us. As a parent myself living on a fixed income I've always had to wait until I received my bonus at the end of the year to buy any gifts. That taught me and my own family to view gift giving differently. It's not about the tangible items it's about the people.

illustration by pinterest.com

For me it's about expressing my gratitude with love. Letting those dear to me know how much I love them and having them around me is a gift in and of itself. We don't concern ourselves with dollar amounts we focus on paying forward and sharing experiences.

I am not close with my family and this I've shared in the past. So this time of year for me as well as for others also brings thoughts of regret, disappointment, sadness, guilt, doubt and uncertainty just to name a few. I don't have to rush and buy my mother a gift I just wish we could actually have a phone conversation. I don't worry if my sister’s will like the cake I made I hope instead for a lunch date someday. I don't focus on sending out cards or picking out the perfect wrapping paper, I wish instead that we could all be a part of each other's lives in some way.

But what about those who have lost a loved one? Who could care less about decorating a tree or exchanging gifts or preparing a great feast. Who instead wish they could hug and kiss their son or daughter, their brother or sister, their mother or father, their best friend or their significant other?

illustration by ahealthiermichigan.com

Is depression and not feeling all giddy about the Holidays an acceptable topic to discuss? If it touches you and or your family, how have you dealt with it?


Always stress free xo,
Mari

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