Blue Christmas

Although people associate Christmas with the best time of the year, filled with presents and tidings of comfort and joy, for some it’s not. Since the holiday season can be extremely stressful with the constant flow of relatives coming in and money going out, many people will actually become depressed.

Due to tragedies that occur in the winter months, from icy weather, alcoholism or overspending and depression, the holidays are not always the most joyful times of the year. Oddly enough, women are 12 percent more likely and men are five percent more likely to be murdered in December than any other month. Another unfortunate statistic of this month is that domestic abuse rates go up by nearly 33 percent; in some cases this can correlate with the 41 percent increase of alcohol intake during the season.

Suicide rates also go up around the holidays often times due to estrangement of family or poverty. With hallmark movies and Christmas love songs reminding people of how alone they are they tend to focus on the negative aspects of their life. For families that may have lost a loved one at some point during the year, the Christmas season can be a reminder that that person is no longer there. Although there are many reasons that the holidays may be hard, it is crucial to keep a positive spirit and stay away from any grinchy Christmas feelings.

To avoid having a blue Christmas people should try to remember that, despite all of the dark times they may be going through, the holiday season is a time to focus on peace on earth and good will to men. Some ways to do that are by volunteering, going on holiday runs, following or breaking holiday traditions, talking to a therapist, reconnecting with family, or simply taking a much needed break. More people need to understand that it is okay to be alone on the holidays and not go all out making a five course meal for Christmas dinner, just as it is alright to not invite everyone and their dog to your home for the holidays. Even though it is the holiday season, it is perfectly alright not to be in the jolliest of moods.

The most important thing to remember is that no one is truly alone on the holidays as there are many people that feel the same way as you do. The only way Christmas will be blue is if it is without you. So this Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whatever it may be, focus on the positive aspects of the season and just try to have a holiday, whether it be merry or not.