Midweek Message

Update, Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Jim Hopkins

December 14, 2021

Raise Your Spirits for the Holiday’s – A Speech by Jesse Lucas

Holidays can and for some be very difficult. Holiday sadness is simply sadness that you feel around the holidays.

Some of the Causes of Holiday Sadness Include:
Recent loss of a loved one
Financial strain or money worries
Social anxiety
Unrealistic expectations

Second only to anxiety, sadness is one of the major mental health problems in the world. This holiday sadness has affected me growing up. My grandmother died of giving childbirth leaving 12 children, the oldest twenty years old. She died on Christmas day. That affected my mother throughout her life. Every Christmas she is sadly reminded of losing her mother. My childhood Christmas Day started out with listening to Mahalia Jackson music which was my grandmother’s favorite artist. After that we all prayed out loud followed by stories from my mother about her mother. Finally, we were allowed to open our presents. Christmas day was not a merry or joyful experience growing up but a sad day.

The problem with holiday sadness is that it can be misinterpreted as being nothing more than the winter blues. So, when it comes to the holidays, people are more focused on losing those extra pounds than taking care of their own mental health. Let’s go of your expectations for the holidays.

Maybe you’re having a rough time in life, or are just struggling to feel as excited as those around you. If you’d like to get more into the spirit of the season, but don’t know how, try the following tips. They might create an unexpected boost to your mood.

Tip 1 – Lighten Up
Nothing sets the mood quite like twinkling lights. Buy a package at the nearest store and get ready to decorate! You can set them around your front porch, wrapped around banisters and poles. They are also perfect for inside the home, hung up on bedroom walls or laying on top of bookshelves in the living room. The options are endless, and this way you have a beautiful environment to go home to at the end of a long day.

Tip 2 – Listen Up
If you’re feeling extra Scrooge-like lately, a quick and easy way to boost holiday sadness is putting on some Christmas music. Play it at home while doing chores, in your car, or at work for a nice change to the usual background noises. And feel free to explore lesser-known Christmas songs too – there are so many good ones out there. I like the Temptations and the Jackson’s Five Christmas albums

Tip 3 -Participate in Local Holiday Events
The Bay Area has plenty of festivities going on during the holiday season. From Christmas tree lightings, the Nutcracker, Christmas caroling. and plays at the local theatres. Grab a friend and take part in one or more of these events.

Tip 4 – Watch Christmas Movies
If you prefer to stay in and get cozy for the day, put on some classic Christmas movies. Whether you watch It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch That Stole Christmas, or my favorite The Preacher’s Wife, or just one of the many Holiday movies on the Lifetime Movie Channel, these movies are sure to pick you up.

Tip 5- Help Others

It is said that the best way to raise your own spirit is by helping and bringing joy to others. One way to do this is Holiday volunteering. There are lots of toy drives and soup kitchen hours during the holidays, so it’s great to take time to give back to the community. It’s also a nice way to connect with others and know that you’re never alone.

Tip 6 – Reach Out to Friends and Family
As always, an important thing to do when we’re feeling in the dumps is reaching out to your friends and family for support. This can mean emailing, a zoom call, a telephone call to catch up with a friend, or spending a weekend with family you haven’t seen in a while. This time of the season is about focusing on all the love in your life, and even if we forget sometimes, it is always there if we reach out and try.

Final Tip, Have A Blue Christmas
Attend a Blue Christmas Service. Particularly helpful for people who have recently loosed a loved one or are having difficulty getting through the holidays, these programs, usually at a local church or senior center, help support and brighten your holidays.

So, my friends, you can raise your spirits of Christmas with twinkling lights, playing Christmas music, watching Christmas flicks, volunteering, connecting with friends and family, or attending Holiday festivities and Blue Christmas. They may help you get through it while others have merry and joy in their heart and you don’t. Take some of these tips and you will have a supportive, meaningful and bright Christmas. Have a wonderful Christmas and a thoughtful and memorable New Year.

Our regularly scheduled studies and services are taking place this week. Also, Forever Young will meet on Saturday afternoon, the annual Blue Christmas Service will follow worship at 11:45 and Support a Family gift wrapping will follow the Blue Christmas service.