During the Christmas season, everyone is telling you to, “Have a Merry Christmas.” But Christmas is the time of year when you’re more likely to feel the Blues. Hospitals and police report higher suicide and attempted suicide rates. Mental health professionals say more of their patients complain about depression during the Christmas season. In fact, nearly half of all people say they don’t look forward to Christmas time.
Why do we feel blue at Christmas?
Christmas has become an opportunity for businesses to take more of our money and to strip Christmas of its true meaning. That’s what Charlie Brown struggled with:
We compare our Christmas with others’ and our family with others’ families. Social media amplifies this as we compare our lives to everyone else’s highlight reel.
Don’t play the Comparison Game. You will lose that game every time. You will always find someone who is doing better than you, which causes you to be depressed and to feel worthless. You will also always find people you are doing better than, which causes you to feel puffed up with unhealthy pride.
At Christmas, there’s pressure to spend money you don’t have on things that people don’t need. Then in January, you start paying the price when the credit card bills start coming in and the debt depression begins.
People will spend an average of $929 on gifts for friends and family. What can you do about the cost of Christmas? Consider making handmade, heartfelt gifts, budgeting for Christmas all year long, and setting boundaries on how much you will spend at Christmas.
We isolate ourselves more during winter because it’s cold outside. As a result, we feel isolated and disconnected and it leads us to feel depressed.
It’s hard to feel joy when things aren’t what they should be. When bad things happen to us and we miss out on the good things that we want. If you’re going to have joy, it’s got to happen in the middle of the brokenness and mess of the world around us.
You may be a Christian, but that doesn’t automatically mean you will be happy all the time. You have to choose to have joy by focusing in on what God has done and what God can do in your life.
How can I beat the Christmas Blues?
By looking at the shepherds who were part of the very first Christmas, we find 4 decisions they made that brought them incredible joy. You can make those same choices today to have joy in your life.
Receive the Good News.
Good news has the power to bring you joy.
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12
The good news told to the shepherds wasn’t just for them. The Good News was for everyone, including YOU!
In the middle of a normal, ordinary night, something out of the ordinary happened. God sent them a message. You might just be in the middle of an ordinary day, but God has Good News for you. You can have joy in your life today! The good news is that God sent His Son Jesus to give His life for you to prove to you how much God loves you! The good news is that you can be forgiven for every wrong thing you’ve ever done or ever will do. The good news is that God sees you and He knows you and He wants you to be a part of His forever family. The good news is that God has a purpose for your life. The Good News is that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you with Him in heaven filled with everlasting joy.
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health. Prov 15:30
Respond to God’s direction.
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Luke 2:15-16
They did what the angels told them to do and they experienced joy as a result. God wants you to have joy in your life that comes when you obey His Word found in the Bible.
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. 2 Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts. Psalm 119:1-2
Reach out to people who need Jesus.
You get joy when you tell somebody else the good news.
17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished. Luke 2:17-18
When you care about people, you want them to know the Good News that you know.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:1-4 (NIV)
John told people about his own personal experience that he had heard and seen. Your experience with Jesus is the best thing you can talk about because no one can argue with your personal experience. When you share the Good News with someone else, they get joy and you get joy too!
Take the 1-1-1 Challenge.
Write down the name of 1 person that you will pray for at 1:00pm for 1 minute. And then, commit to reaching out that person as soon as you can.
Remember what God has done for you.
…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:19-20
Remember what you have left, not what you’ve lost.
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! (Psalm 126:3)
Don’t forget how good God has been to you. He has done incredible things. That has the power to always bring you joy.