Can you imagine a world without Christmas? No Christmas morning with the family gathered around an artificial evergreen tree covered from top to bottom with plastic and glass ornaments and tiny lights. Additionally, without Christmas, we would not have a star on top of that fake tree either. Can you imagine a world without a fake star on top of a fake tree?
My unpleasant feelings towards the holidays started when I was a young teenager. I experienced a traumatic personal family event, which I believe was the trigger for my current mental health issues, specifically my severe separation anxiety.
I love my bride more than anything in this world. She is literally everything to me. Moreover, that event from my early teen years shaped my mind to always have a fear she will someday leave me. That event as a young teenager was the catalyst for my downward spiral into a daily depressive state – one which worsens the closer we get to Christmas each year. In other words, my depression is always here and pops up unexpectedly throughout the year. Like a toothache, it is a constant reminder of the pain I felt all those years ago. However, I do know some of the triggers and do my best to avoid those situations though that is not always possible.
So yes, I can imagine a world without Christmas – the materialistic version of Christmas that is.
So what is Christmas?
Please understand that I love watching the children on Christmas morning. Those smiles on their faces and the sparkles in their eyes do indeed enlighten my spirit. In actuality, Christmas morning is typically the best day of the year for me, mentally.
So really, what is Christmas? For me, Christmas is about relationships. Specifically, the relationship that I have with my Savior and the relationships with my family. Christmas to me is not the materialism that today’s culture demands.
One of my favorite things to do for easing my mind is people watching. I love to watch them and try to figure out their story; what it is that makes them who they are. In other words, I make up their story in my mind based on my perception of their behavior. And let me tell you something, the lead-up to the holidays makes for the best watching of people in their natural habitat. I mean what other time of the year can you sit and watch as people whom you do not know go about willy-nilly spending money on junk made in foreign countries who actually hate Americans? So, over the next few weeks, stop by your local mall or shopping plaza and find a comfortable park bench. Don’t forget to bring along a snack because proper people-watching can take several hours of your time. Just watch and you will see what I am referring to.
Imagine a World without Christmas
So, can you imagine a world without Christmas? The materialistic version of Christmas that our culture is so enamored with? Imagine a world where the focus is on family gatherings instead of materialism. Imagine a world where families gather around a table to share a meal. Where they share memories of the past year; both joys and heartaches and share in laughter from their soul. Now that is a Christmas I can imagine.
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle - is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (HCSB)
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.