Tis the Season

December 17, 2009 Uncategorized 10

Ahhh, a vintage Christmas collage, so lovely.
I think I repeat the same Mantra year after year, do not stress, do not over spend, do not get caught up in the commercialism. I struggle with the American way.
I’ve been mostly on track this year. I never spend into debt, but I do push the limits of my planned purchase budget, seems I always find one more gift to buy……..ugh.
I’ve managed to not stress too much, the shopping is mostly done, the wrapping of what we have is 100% done….and even with the new puppy I’ve managed to stay up beat and positive.
The other thing that happens to me from time to time is an impending feeling of depression, and it’s kind of odd at such a beautiful time of the year. I love all aspects of Christmas, the hopeful coming of the Christ child, the wonder and awe in a child’s eye. I love the baking and decorating, and even the shopping…….but at times I feel a let down. I’m sad because my family is 1000 miles away and we celebrate without them. I’m said because my children don’t have the experience of extended family every year. I’m sad because I’m not the person I always want to be, I give to those less fortunate, but the bulk of my gift giving is for my children………and it makes me feel selfish in some ways.
I’ve been making myself get out more…………because when I feel those dark feelings I tend to just hole up at home and not get out much. Even the puppy has helped this week because I have to take the little thing outside several times a day.
The ugliest side to my depression can be if I let it really lead to some lashing out, and it has in the past……and I’ve ruined precious moments with my children……….things I’ve seen others do and I cringe…………so I try very hard to not let this happen.

So I’m working hard to enjoy the season………………and accept all the ups and downs and acknowledge that no ones life is perfect………..but to remember that I am very blessed and lucky to have all that I do!

10 Responses to “Tis the Season”

  1. Ali

    I think I could have written this, too. It makes me wonder if my parents felt stress during Christmas because it seemed like it was simpler when I was a kid.

    And puppy therapy is the best kind, isn’t it?:)

  2. Mnmom

    Again, parallel lives.
    I get a little weirdly depressed at Christmas too. I’ve had depression in my life, so I know the difference between it and the blues.

    Here’s my opinion: women of our generation put WAYYYY too much pressure on ourselves. Not only are we supposed to have a magazine-perfect house, but it has to be MORE so at the holidays. We’re supposed to pull these magical moments out of our butts for our families. All the while we work outside jobs, try to maintain something resembling good health, cook, clean, keep our marriages strong, volunteer, keep the kids happy, feed the dog, keep the car clean, stay in touch with relatives, buy gifts, etc etc etc until our heads explode. And our families don’t understand why we’re so cranky.

    For me, you put sudden poverty after hubby’s job loss on top, and you have a nice messy mix of emotions.

    So cut yourself some slack and have an “eggnog” and know that someone in Minnesota knows how you feel.

  3. Anita

    I think we build up Christmas to be the perfect day and time of year, knowing deep down inside that it isn’t. When all the lights, eating, shopping, etc. doesn’t change us into a perfectly joyful person, the emotions get conflicted; sort of anticlimatic.
    If it was just all about Christ, maybe people wouldn’t get the blues.
    Fortunately, I don’t get the blues, but I definitely feel the stress. But on Christmas Day, I’ll happily watch the kids open their presents and I’ll enjoy the family dinner.
    That’s all of my junior psychologist analysis. 🙂

    Take long walks.

  4. Terra

    It is such a hard time of year – feeling like you are pushing to be positive all the time! Getting out is GOOD, staying close to budget is excellent and having a place to vent is even better!

  5. Beth

    I think acknowledging your feelings is a big step toward being healthy mentally. My “stuff” comes from high expectations (my own…not family…they don’t care) and the death of my dad…yes a long time ago but it still replays in my mind..

    I do stay in budget… I try to do practical useful gifts…I don’t buy just because… it all helps… also having a strong connection to my church and like-faith people really helps!

    Hang in there!

  6. My name is PJ.

    Oh honey, so many of us battle these same ‘demons’.

    You know what helps me? Pick a person – any person who feels like you or is down on their luck or is alone and focus time, energy and some money on them. Invite them to dinner. Or over on Christmas eve. Or to church with the family. Or leave a gift on their doorstep anonymously. I swear, if you focus your energy on someone outside your family, your spirits will LIFT.

  7. Miss Healthypants

    I think I read somewhere that suicide cases go up around the holidays–so I think the holiday depression is normal, as long as you don’t become TOO depressed.

    I also think that we build up Christmas to be the perfect day, and then it’s not perfect, and it’s all over with so quickly.

    The trick, I guess, is to slow down and enjoy the little moments and remember that that’s what Christmas is about–little (and big) moments of love. 🙂

  8. Anita

    What is your friend Pam’s blog link where you blogged about Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays? What a coincidence – us talking about it on nearly the same day.

  9. mama-face

    Wow, I feel like this is me talking! Ditto to everything except the puppy part.

    I’m already feeling the after Christmas depression. I think every year I try to prep myself a little more for the major let down I always feel. Christmas is a nightmare for bipolar. Well,not all of it; just generally speaking. Perhaps that’s why I put everything off until the last minute. hmmm. I love how honest you were in this post.

  10. Pam

    Anita, I don’t have the same sadness at this time of year that you do, but I do get overly stressed and snappy and I’ve ruined a few family moments as well. And like you I feel terrible about it afterwards. I’ve been trying to do less and not feel so pressured to have everything be perfect. And that helps. Hugs to you, my friend.

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