The end of Daylight Savings Time has just ushered in shorter days and early darkness. More people suffer with depression during this time of year than any other. I don’t believe it’s because their condition is any different now, but that they are more aware of their circumstances.
My son has been playing Christmas carols for two weeks already, when we’ve only just now turned the page on the calendar to November. When I wondered aloud about his holiday enthusiasm, he professed that this is his favorite time of year.
This caught me by surprise because his emotional tenor changes very little no matter how great the gifts he is given. Yet the more I prompted, the more I heard of his enjoyment of the lights, the food, the family time, and fun.
The commercialism of the holiday season brings with it a tendency to focus on what we don’t have and what we want rather than a true emphasis on all we already possess. Looking at others, what they possess, or how they act can lead to a slippery slope down to the blues. Sometimes we feel deflated when the holidays don’t go as we expected.
I made a decision a few years ago to let others off the hook. When I maintained expectations of others over the holidays, I was invariably disappointed and prone to the post-holiday blues. Yet, when I surrendered my expectations, I could enjoy living in the moment.
While in years past, I would have met Christmas carols in October with disdain, I can now appreciate the joy and enthusiasm my son brings to the pre-holiday season. Don’t be surprised if you run into me and hear me humming “Jingle Bells.” But almost two months before Christmas, you won’t catch me singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas!” 😉
What expectations do you need to surrender this holiday season?