Ditto on the Christmas Decorating and a Little Depression?

I used to go "all out" with the decorating at Christmas time.  The teenage manchild was much younger then and our lives were much different.  Now I find it too taxing to climb up into the rafters of the garage, pull out the boxed decorations (including my gorgeous tree), lug everything to the apartment, find a place to put everything out for a month - only to un-decorate, re-pack, and re-store.  Just typing this is making me weary *insert huge sigh here*

What I want to know is, when did all of this change???   I used to LOVE this time of year!

Now don't go get your Christmas lights all up in bunch!  I know that John 3:16-17 says "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."  So yes, I know that the true meaning of Christmas is LOVE.  But that's not my question here.  Why did my love for decorating this time of year change?  

So . . . I did a little researching on the internet - yeah, I know - self analysis by way of the internet can be a little dangerous, but hey, I think I may have stumbled upon something!  Holiday Depression.

Yep, I read that many people suffer depression during the holidays.  And even if you're in an UN-depressed state, the holidays can be stressful.  And the nutritional experts believe that depression is caused by excessive sugar and fatty foods moving through our bodies.  You know, all of those rum balls and chocolate dipped pretzels?

And check this out.  Seniors (I'm one of those) are more susceptible to holiday depression.  The loss of someone, the anniversary of a loss or a traumatic event can make memories come back that can put a damper on spirits.  Huuuumm, I wonder if this all stems back to my childhood memories of Christmas with the "Wicked Witch of the Midwest"?

I also read that lots of women suffer unnecessarily from depression during this time of year.  The good news is that with careful planning, regular exercise, support from loved ones and treatment by a health-care professional, can help overcome depression so you can enjoy the holidays.  This particular article didn't mention anything about the excessive sugar and fatty foods.  I'm liking this article much better than the other one already!

If you suffer from holiday depression as well, below are some action strategies you might find helpful.  These are probably good for you NON-depressive types who get stressed out and at the end of your rope during the holidays as WELL:

Take care of yourself.  It's a gift to everyone else because everyone ends up having a happier and healthier holiday 

Instead of sending out Christmas cards, send electronic ones instead.  I've been using Jacquie Lawson greetings for the last few years now.  But if you MUST send out cards, just sign them instead of trying to rack your brain with some joyful greeting inside

Learn to say "NO"

Define your personal limits and stick to them 

Instead of wrapping the house in lights, put a wreath on the door and call it a day

Decorating a Christmas tree can be a monumental task.  Instead, put out a mini tree.  Here's mine.  It's an Avon Majestic Lighted Christmas tree that I bought (from the Avon lady at work) probably 3 or 4 years ago.  

It's really cool because it only takes 2 batteries and when the season is over, you just fold it flat and slip it back in its box!  Easy Peasy!

And here's a good one!  I read that you should arrange to take a vacation during Christmas if you can afford to.  That way you can use the excuse that you're getting ready for your vacation as a way to avoid social commitments!  

holiday travelers at the Los Angeles airport

I'm not going anywhere, but I AM taking a vacation over the holidays.  I sure hope staying home doesn't depress me even more!  Yikes

And here's another one I read.  It's pretty much a no-brainer, but I'll include it in the list anyway.  Try to stay away from the alcohol that is flowing freely this time of year.  Alcohol is a depressant and is the last thing you need.  Sure wouldn't want to end up feeling all sad and over-emotional after the holidays.

I'm just sayin' . . .


Lezlei Ann Young said...

let me be the FIRST to say...AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! Now how do I convince the "GoldenGirls" of this philosophy?

One Womans Thoughts said...

Your words touched the range of feelings within me at this time of year. Thank you for sharing so eloquently. My heart has been in the same place as yours. Going through the passages of time and from being a child to having children and beyond. A time when joy, togetherness,celebration and love should all coexist and mingle and dance together. In actuality, it can be a time of reflection, sadness, of being overwhelmed a time of self pity. This is when faith and spirit come in, to light the candle of a better tomorrow, a reminder that we are mere mortals, and a time to analyze ourselves and what is good in our lives. Best wishes.

cindy wears many hats said...

Thank you SHERRY!!!
I laughed really hard - Your heart felt words-ITS OKAY-

Brenda said...

Sherry, I hear you, and I feel the same way. The wreath on the door is the way to go. In past years I would leave decoration up until way past Valentine's Day, especially the angels and the lights, they made me feel better in those dark midwest winters. Now that I am in Florida, we shall see. I think it is still the Wreath on the door and some angels, that's it. I've still got BOXES!

Tami Roth said...

Hello, Sherry, hope the holidays are good to you and relax them away the best that we can right?!! I appreciate your post and suggestions and they are helpful-thank you :)
Hugs to you,

Charmingdesigns said...

I'm glad you did the research and shared with us. I agree. I like to keep things simple...and its ok.

Robin said...

Thanks for the heartfelt post Sherry! I too gave up on Christmas decorating recently and have enjoyed the holidays even more knowing there wasn't major work undecorating in January. I like to think that as we get older we get smarter :)

Anonymous said...

Since I'm Jewish, I don't have the whole decorating dilemma. I do however, relate totally to the depression issue. I think people sometimes have unrealistic expectations around holidays. Looking for the "perfect" holiday. Making up for past less than perfect celebrations. Wanting everything to be "just so." Hunting down the "perfect" presents. That is too damn stressful! I just try to surround myself with like minded people who are happy to be with those they love and don't care about what's hanging on walls or in windows or if the roast is over cooked.
Relax and enjoy.

Lori said...

So true Sherry! I'm stressin' right now because I need to finish making Christmas gifts, although this is self induced as I have a tendency to wait until the last minute! LOL.I just can't get into making Christmas gifts in July. Love that tree! Enjoy the holidays!

Genevieve said...

Damn! The battle continues. Just saw Mario give you a pack of grunge! We said the same thing. Argggggggggghhhhhh. Lucky brat. See you for pozole Sunday!

*I'll wear something green to compliment my envy! LOL

Stacy (S.E.W.Butterfly) said...

Thanks for sharing, Sherry! You've touched on some things I have been encountering during the holidays! God Bless you!

Household 6 said...

Cheers to that! Christmas simplified... I hear you. I feel it! I thought I was just getting too lazy to do up the house the way I have in the past! I am skipping all the outdoor lights and lawn decor this year. The girls won't be putting trees up in their room like they normally do, and I'm not decorating the basement. Heck, if I'm lucky I won't even cook a meal on Christmas :) I wonder if McDonalds will be open.... hehe. I refuse to give up eggnog though!

Louise (KardKrazy) said...

Sheri, what a fabulous public service announcement. I must link it on my blog. Let's bring back the true meaning of Christmas.
Gotta say though, you really had some wattage on that cottage:) Looked pretty cool....and I'm assuming that was your house.

Louise (KardKrazy) said...

And I just corrected my blog post to spell your name right!

Lyneen said...

Hope you don't mind I have linked this on my blog also... hopped here via Louise... I think there is something to getting older with Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Hi. first visit here. Came from Louise's blog.... going to link to yoru blog too! Thanks for you words!

Melissa said...

You've shared some very good ideas here Sherry. I think I get a touch of that Holiday Depression! I try to go to the gym every day/night during the month of December to help ward off the blues.
PS- I like your Christmas music selection. Try the group "Straigh No Chaser"...I think you'll like them.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I followed Louise's link to your blog, although I think I've been here before. I was so excited about Christmas this year. I even started in August making little quiltlets, handmade Christmas cards, and tip-ins (altered art pages) to send to my friends. I was talking Christmas before Halloween and when Thanksgiving got here, I drug out my lovely ornaments the day after, and set the boxes in the kitchen, ready to distribute each cherished ornament to its proper room.

As soon as I had the trees in place, the lights on the lighted tree, and the candles glowing, all the magic left. Many things caused this, part of which was the loss of my computer address book. I still don't have all my cards, made and ready to go in August, sent to people because I have no idea what their address is. I almost wrote something on my blog about my feelings, but reading your message showed me how others might feel the same as I. Thank you for such an inspiring and heartfelt blog post.

BTW, I LOVE the Ditto photo. Now that is funny!!