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Beating The Holiday Blues

CBN.com - I just don't like Christmas any more. I can't wait until it's over. I hope I'll survive the next few weeks."

Have you ever heard this before? Have you ever said this yourself? Normally this is a time we think of being in wonderful surrounding with family and friends. However, for many of us this can be a time of increased depression, tension, and frustration -- maybe even leading to alcohol or drug abuse.

Peace on earth for many is pandemonium on earth and we feel fatigued and depressed.

Depending on how you are made up you may be more susceptible to being discouraged and depressed in this holiday season. Look at the personalities listed below and see if you can relate to one of these types:

Producers have a need to make the holidays a grandiose extravaganza. They direct their energies into parties, mammoth decorations, feasts to fit a king, etc. By the end of the holiday season they are ready to collapse. Some would call this the "Martha syndrome," where one derives self worth from the amount of activity being done. You must recognize that your worth doesn't come from "doing" but in "being" who God has made you to be. As you plan holiday activities ask yourself if all these activities are, in fact, bringing the family closer together and encouraging spiritual development in the context of fun, rest and relaxation?

Expectors are driven by the notion that, "I should be happy and receive what I need." These are people see themselves as the center of the holiday. According to them, "people should do what I need and should even know what those needs are." If you have these feelings then you will set yourself up for self-pity, anger or depression because your expectations are never met completely. Jesus said that He came not to BE served but TO serve and give His life as a ransom. As a child of God you must grasp the kingdom principle that, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Shifting from a demanding spirit to an attitude of giving is life transforming and just the cure for the holiday blues.

Codependents are primarily driven by guilt and having to please all those they feel responsible for. If people aren't happy or things don't go right at this holiday season then their logic says it must be their fault. This false belief drives the codependent to always feeling like they don't measure up and therefore that they are a failure. Before the holiday season is even close to being over this one is defeated. To counteract these natural tendencies of codependency you must recognize your weakness and plan ahead and develop reasonable approaches to your holiday activities. You are NOT responsible for others' happiness. Your worth and significance is not based on what you do or what others think. Rather your value is based in the fact that you are a creature created in the image of God and as a child of God. Ephesians 2:10 declares, We are God's workmanship, (His masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Partiers are going non-stop during the holiday season, attending every activity and party they can. In this process they sometimes eat too much as well as drink too much. Many times after all the activities these individuals are not happy and fulfilled and have the feeling of emptiness. If this is your tendency you need to discipline yourself during the holiday season and say "no" to some of these activities. Also you must allow some time for personal reflection and provide opportunity to have some meaningful connection with a few individuals.

Loners experience an increased sense of pain with all the emphasis on family, togetherness and happiness. The realization of the gap between what they desire and the reality of their circumstances leads to a deeper level of depression. There are "Loners" who choose to be isolated as that seems to be easier that confronting painful relationships. Still there are others who don't choose to be isolated but have situations such as highly dysfunctional families or other circumstances that are out of their control. For those who see themselves in this light you must first ask, "what do I have control of?" If I have family and friends who have pushed me aside then what can I do too seek out others during the holidays. Also recognize that the Lord rewards those who seek Him.

After reading this you may see yourself in one of these categories. Take time to do some honest evaluation and reflection. Our Lord is called the Prince of Peace and certainly He desires each of us to know Him in that capacity. John 10:10 states, I came that they might have life and might have it to the full. Christmas should be a time of celebration, joy, renewal and relaxation with friends or family. It is a season for giving and, even more a time for thanksgiving, especially for God's incomparable gift of life, hope and wholeness found in Jesus Christ.

During this season keep Christ at the center of the holiday. Plan for special spiritual activities both individually as well corporately as a family. Have a blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year!

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