Yes, friends, it's that joyous time of year again -- or so they say. But it's also the season when Americans suffer the highest incidence of depression and suicide. This article is dedicated to creating Holiday Seasons and New Years that are more joyous than ever!
Many people think that the way we celebrate Christmas Show Recordingin this country is a joke. But it's no laughing matter that, during the holidays, the depression and suicide rates are highest.
Come to think of it, maybe that's GOOD news in disguise. Why? REALISM! As you know, you can't solve a problem you don't HAVE! Apparently, at Christmas more than any other time of year, people actually FACE how lonely and empty their lives are.
'Tis the season to hit bottom -and TURN AROUND!
For this holiday season I have a better suggestion than depression, Zoloft, spiked punch, or suicide: Turn around! Right! When millions hit bottom this Christmas, let's hope they do what you're SUPPOSED to do when you hit bottom: TURN AROUND! (As in, "I'm the kind of person who only turns around when I hit bottom.")
Since this IS the hitting-bottom time of year, it MUST be the time to turn around, right? And that fits in nicely with New Years resolutions, doesn't it? So, rather than saying, "Tis the season to be jolly," let's say, "Tis the season to hit bottom and turn around."
What if we had our regular silly old Christmas all year long?
Christmas should be a time of love, no doubt. Some say it is. Some even suggest that life would be heaven if only we kept our Christmas spirit all year long.
The world would be a much better place if more of us had what would be a true Christmas spirit year round -- if we actually put our love relationships first; if we actually nurtured generosity in all our thoughts and deeds; if we actually allowed our real spiritual values to warm our hearts and minds; if we actually treated everyone with sincere, unselfish good will.
But if we filled the entire year with the kind of "Christmas spirit" that dominates the holidays -- heaven forbid! Everybody knows that the word "love" has lost almost all of its meaning, because it's been associated with superficial relationships and trivial events. Nowhere is this misunderstanding more evident than at Christmas. When love is associated with frantic consumerism and superficial, consoling sentimentality -- as it is at Christmas -- that really brings the word down!
For example, "love" means kisses under mistletoe, and giving away sugar cookies and candy canes. "Love" means taking a trip, buying cute little stockings and stocking stuffers and piles of presents, singing Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman, giving huggy-wuggies, and finally, going home, relieved to not be doing all that anymore!
If we "celebrated" like that all year long, would this be a better world? NOT! Fact is, we express tacky love all year long -- although, thankfully, in a slightly diluted form. Yet our country is still . . .
the country with have the highest rates worldwide for divorce, depression, and drug use.
a militaristic nation which is killing thousands of innocent children and destroying entire villages and cities.
a materialistically insane society where consumerism grossly exceeds (personally or nationally) sustainable levels.
The same consumerism that creates, buys and discards stockings, stocking stuffers, and Christmas Show Recordinggifts, is busy year round -- ruining the economies of poor, exploited nations, and taking advantage of tiny child laborers who work in basement sweatshops, chained to their chairs, for pennies a day. All to keep our prices low, you know.
Giving gifts can be wonderful, when done with real intention and loving consideration. But when the process becomes mandatory, ritualized, obsessive, and hurried, as it has in America at Christmas, it's more harmful than good.
Come December, in a land where everyone already "loves" according to the standard holiday definitions, we rush to the mall. We buy costly, "love"-symbolizing gifts. We bring them home, wrap them all up, put them under the tree, stuff them in the stockings.
After the big day comes and goes, behind every home there's a garbage can of plastic peanuts, and bows, and ribbons, and styrofoam. The trash man hauls our discarded gift-wrappings to a landfill, somewhere out of sight, where he dumps the debris, much of which is not biodegradable. These by-products of our Christmas "love exchange" will create massive pollution, and kill all kinds of wildlife in the streams in the area. And they will further pollute the ocean, creating a big dead zone that supports no marine life. But we don't know, and we don't care, about that.
And then, people will spend the rest of the year trying -- often unsuccessfully -- to pay off the credit card debt incurred by that wonderful giving.
That's what our Christmas-time definition of "love" creates -- the actual result, if you just look into it. I'm not trying to paint a negatively distorted picture; I'm just trying to show what's actually happening with it.
Family values and holiday magic
Blood is thicker than water, and it coagulates around Christmas. After all, that's the favorite time of year for "family reunions."
Love does run deep in family bloodlines. The unconditional commitment of parents to children is among the most upleveling motivations on earth. It can and does bring out the best in people. But under the influence of ego, it can also bring out some of the worst as well.
Now, can we look at the family at a typical holiday reunion? Can we look into the individual people, and see their actual relationships with one another? For real: what's going on? What is it all about? And what significance does it have to share all this annual "love" in these annual ways?
Presumably holiday reunions console people -- at least, if things go well. The magic of Christmas (or at least strong social pressure) overcomes the estrangement, resentments, etc. built up during the year.
Okay, so let's say we're consoled by our group events. Now what? Let's follow the people through. They're consoled; therefore they're less inclined to make any substantial Christmas Show Recordingchanges in their lives, even if their lives really need some pretty substantial changes. Obviously, if a person is consoled, they're less likely to make big changes; people make big changes only when they absolutely have to. So the family reunion, if it goes well, will keep them from feeling like they have to make any significant changes in their lives. That's the way they'll interpret it, at least, because they'll think, "Things are okay with my life." Too bad.
What if the opposite thing had happened? What if they decided to have Christmas and nobody came? Oh dear -- that's the most disastrous thing that could possibly happen on Christmas! Enough to put anyone into deep dark crisis.