I’m shaking off a slump. I have no choice; it is mandated that I not only do tons of extra stuff this time of year, but that I also be jolly and merry while doing it. It’s in the Momstitution. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Thus, I am trying to trick my own biology into believing this is a time of joy and cheer by means of tiny electric lights, throwing cinnamon into baked goods, listening to amped-up versions of Christmas songs and immersing myself into nostalgia so I can go back to a time when I didn’t have to do anything at this time of year but eat Chicken and Stars soup and watch The Year Without a Santa Claus.
It’s not working, though. I mean, I manage, but it’s all a facade. Inside, my brain is as tangled as the Christmas lights I rolled into a wad and threw in the green tub back in January because I didn’t feel like dealing with them. (I’m SO mad at January me. What a lazy, inconsiderate jerk she was. Am I right?)
Despite all the things I should be doing, which include both normal things I always need to do like pay bills and clean the house, plus extra stuff like Christmas falderal and Breakfast with Santa (I hope you’re not expecting too much, El Sierra people), I feel like doing exactly two things:
1. Playing Bubble Witch Saga
2. Watching Judge Judy yell at people.
So I have a dysfunctional brain. That’s hardly news. What about people dealing with unusual issues and sadness this year, forced to face the wall of Holly Jolly while a loved one is in hospice, or after they just buried their mom, or are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and won’t have their kids for Christmas this year? Can we offer them some kind of compassionate break?
There is something called a Blue Christmas Prayer Service that might help. In Downers Grove, the only church that I could find offering it this year is St. Paul’s United Church of Christ at 59th and Dunham on December 5 at 7 pm, but there could be others. I will be sure to post them if I hear of any.
Or take care of your family, friends and neighbors yourself. I doubt that insisting on artificial cheer or denying that person’s pain will help (although who knows? to each his own), but checking in on the person and listening as he or she voices his/her troubles or even just sitting next to him or her so he/she knows he/she’s not alone can’t hurt. For more information on how to help people suffering from depression or other mental illness during the holidays, click here.
I certainly hope we all reach out to people in need this holiday season, whether that need be physical or emotional.