First of all, I apologize for the spotty posts this past week. My goal is to write an update Monday through Friday evenings, while Doug is putting the kids to bed. However, there were a couple of odd nights last week when he had conference calls and I was the one putting them to bed. Since I wasn't able to sit down and type up a blog post during that designated time slot, I just didn't do it at all. It's one of the less charming aspects of my personality.
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas lately (naturally). I've been trying to figure out why it tends to be such a bittersweet time. We are celebrating Christ's birth, spending time with family & friends, and listening to jolly music. So why does the holiday season leave so many people depressed? The over-simplified answer for my life is that I don't do enough to celebrate Christ's birth (and all God's other miracles) and spend special time with loved ones during the rest of the year.
If I made every month a holiday, what kind of difference would that make in my outlook? I could have a party every month to celebrate my blessings. I could find special crafts and traditions for our family to do together all the time. I could light a candle at dinner every night to remind us of some wonderful aspect of God's character. We could read Bible stories as a family every week. We could be as excited and thoughtful about birthday gifts and random acts of kindess as we are about Christmas gifts.
I know there are many other reasons for people's sadness. For many, all the merriment can seem hollow and artificial. We may be separated from those loved ones we'd like to be spending time with. There might be financial difficulties that leave us feeling guilty over not being able to shower our children with gifts. And there is definitely a magic to the holiday season that changes once you are an adult. An inability to recreate that magic in your adult life can leave the holiday feeling rather lonely.
What am I missing? What else leads to holiday sadness? And what else can we do to change it in our own lives?