On Celebrating Christmas

Christmas Around the World
Christmas Around the World

What’s going on in your homes during the Yuletide season? Are you having some parties or reunions? Are there some careless Christmas spending? Binge eating? Drinking a sip or the whole bottle?

How about some headaches, stomachaches, wallet aches? Or tears, tension or temper tantrums?

Most “holiday depressions” tend to dominate our holiday celebration more than the usual things. The release from routine duties and obligations that comes at Christmas can create a problem for some of us. To the odd mixture of traditional observance that makes up our Christmas, we have added the typical American ingredients of commercialism and competition. After commemorating the demise of our loved ones during November, the Christmas countdown begins. You can hear most radio announcers saying over the airwaves, “Only 20 more shopping days before Christmas… Only 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and heaven help us!

We make our Christmas list and beat the onrush shoppers. You begin to feel that you are nearing the greatest embarrassment of your life if you do not hurry up and purchase needed Christmas items. Shopping does not end the pressures imposed on us. We must decorate, have a delicious and festive Noche Buena, exchange gifts and renew family ties – whether we like it or not.

Depression frequently follows a loss of self-esteem. We aren’t happy because we can’t live up to our own expectations. We feel that we are failing to meet the standards of a perfect Filipino Christmas. We must do the things in order to meet the demands most people have set for themselves.

The Christmas rule most frequently broken is the commandment to “be happy“. For one reason or another, many f us are miserable because we tend to overdo in every Christmas we celebrate. The Lord Jesus Christ told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. But when we talk about “exchange gifts“, we are expecting a better one to be given to us in return.

Maybe you’re not rich or beautiful. Maybe you wake up late in time for Misa de Gallo. You can’t find the right gift for your loved ones, you forgot the important ingredients for Noche Buena. But you have to think that perfection is seldom achieved by normal people and things are not always the way they thought them to be.

Here are some simple ways that may help you get rid of the depression that may ruin your Christmas.

  1. Don’t expect a miracle to happen. Most of us are disappointed because we expect remarkable results from Christmas spirit. You must not feel that something more exciting will happen this time. Chances are you would be depressed if this doesn’t materialize.
  2. Don’t feel guilty if you are not happy. You’re likely to feel better if you stop worrying because you think you ought to be happy.
  3. Don’t force yourself to keep up with the Joneses. You must keep your spending well within your income, or else you will regret it after the season is over. Remember that the greatest gift you can present to yourself is happy self, not the one frightened by excessive spending.
  4. Don’t let others rule your Christmas. Instead of looking outside to see how the neighbors are celebrating, look into your own family, its tastes and needs. Now is the time to strengthen your family relationship.
  5. Don’t expect too much from yourself and others. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the Perfect Child and we pay homage to the highest ideals of love and generosity. You perhaps are not as loving, generous or perfect as you think you should be. But try to accept your limitations and do the best you can.

Remember, a memorable Christmas is a happy one. Have a Joyous Christmas, everyone!!

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