Robert attended U.S. festival sites for over 10 years and was able to avoid those let-down feelings that sometimes follow special occasions.
Christmas Is Unique
Christmas is one of the most unique holidays in the world. Statistics show that fewer crimes are committed on Christmas. In 1914, during World War I, enemies actually stopped fighting and celebrated Christmas together. A major grocery store chain is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but is closed on one special occasion called Christmas.
The spirit of peace and love overwhelms us as we experience a world filled with kind deeds and service. However, at one minute after midnight on December 26 the Christmas music stops, the Christmas cheer fades and for many people depression sets in. Thankfully, joy and peace can still abound. Here are three ways to stay happy after Christmas celebrations have ended.
- Love God and ask Him to place the spirit of Christmas in your heart.
- Love yourself.
- Love others.
1. Love God
The reason many people feel depressed after Christmas is because the spirit of love that was so abundant seems to suddenly vanish with the last moment of the holiday. In order to rekindle that spirit of love it is important to go to the source from whence it came. The Bible tells us in I John 4:8 that "...God is Love". Once we realize that God is where the spirit of love originates we can go to Him and ask for the spirit of love to be in us and forever with us. God will hear and He will answer our prayers. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17 New International Version).
God wants us to go to Him with our deepest concerns because He loves us. Just as a child goes to their mom and dad when they need help, when we go to our Heavenly Father it shows that we trust and love God. Loving God is one of the greatest things that we can do in order to avoid the pitfalls of depression that may arise after Christmas has ended.
Loving God is one of the greatest things that we can do in order to avoid the pitfalls of depression that may arise after Christmas has ended.
2. Love Yourself
Jesus tells us in Mark 12:31 that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Louise Hay, was an American motivational author and the founder of Hay House. She stated that the one thing that heals every problem is to know how to love yourself.
Hay conducted hundreds of workshops and intensive training programs across the country and around the world. After many years of individual counseling with clients, she discovered that as people started to love themselves more each day phenomenal changes began to occur in their lives.
Louise Hay said that when people start to love themselves:
- They feel better.
- They get the jobs they want.
- They have the money they need.
- Their relationships improve.
- Negative relationships dissolve.
- New relationships begin.
The simple concept of loving yourself seems to work wonders.
How to Love Yourself
According to psychologist Deborah Ward, you can love yourself by following a few simple steps.
1. Care as much about yourself as you do for others.
Ward states that it is not selfish to care about yourself. You should show compassion for yourself by showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. Us gentleness and concern as you care for yourself.
2. Maintain your boundaries.
Write a list of the things that upset you or hurt your feelings when they are ignored or violated. Realize that whatever is important to you is important. Don't ignore your feelings. Your feelings are there to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. If someone oversteps your boundaries let them know. Taking action to get your own needs met will build your self-esteem.
3. Do what you need to do to be you.
Do those positive things that help you to develop a sense of accomplishment. Using your God given talents and abilities will give you a sense of pride in what you are doing and who you are. Utilizing your constructive gifts and passions will help you to realize that you deserve to be loved.
3. Love Others
Once God has placed the spirit of Christmas inside of our hearts, and once we have learned to love ourselves, we can then properly and graciously love others. “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-34 New King James Version).
Once God has placed the spirit of Christmas inside of our hearts, and once we have learned to love ourselves, we can then properly and graciously love others.
How to Love Thy Neighbor
In I Corinthians 13:4-8, the Apostle Paul gives an excellent formula that can be used to show love for our neighbor. The formula includes being patient, kind, not being easily angered and loving truthfulness.
Holly Mthethwa has been a missionary advisor in Peru and India. She has led bible studies in the U.S. and South Africa, and is the author of the Christian memoir, Hot Chocolate in June: A True Story of Loss, Love, and Restoration. Mthethwa sums up showing love to one's neighbor in seven steps.
1. Seeing your neighbor
Look past the obvious, the outer shell, and look into their eyes, their hearts and their circumstances.
2. Ask for forgiveness and offer it
Ask for forgiveness for the strongholds within your heart that keep you from sympathizing with or loving another. Ask God to forgive you for indifferences towards a particular person or group. If you need to ask for forgiveness from your neighbor, humble yourself and apologize.
Love your neighbors by praying for them. Pray for your neighbors’ circumstances and salvation.
4. Rejoice and mourn
Rejoice when your neighbor rejoices and mourn when your neighbor mourns.
5. Learn and be teachable
Allow your neighbor to challenge your heart without taking offense or becoming bitter. Be teachable and moldable.
6. Ask hard questions about yourself
Ask yourself if you are really living in accordance with the teachings of Christ.
7. Do not be judgmental
Avoid becoming self-righteous and judgmental, but still point out areas in the lives of others where God wants to bring freedom and truth.
Avoid focusing on the sin in your neighbor’s life as opposed to the sin in your own. "And why beholds thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considers not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3-5 King James Version).
God Will Help You
After the lights of Christmas fade and the holiday songs cease, you can still be happy.
- Love God and ask Him to place the spirit of Christmas in your heart
- Love yourself
- Love others
These three things will be a light that shines in your life and a lamp that guides your feet to happiness for many months to come.
- Hay, Louise L. “Official Website of Author Louise Hay.” Louise Hay, Hay House Publishing.
- Ward, Deborah. “Sense and Sensitivity.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 17 Jan. 2014.
- Mthethwa, Hollow. “7 Ways to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.” 7 Ways to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself - Spiritual Life, Daily Devotional, Rugged and Redeemed, 21 Dec. 2015.
© 2017 Robert Odell Jr
Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on April 02, 2018:
Thank you Cynthia. I am delighted to know that you enjoyed the article.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on March 31, 2018:
This is a sweet article with great intentions.
Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on December 27, 2017:
Thank you very much Oztinato. I am happy to see the article serving its intended purpose.
Andrew Petrou from Brisbane on December 27, 2017:
A very uplifting essay.