It’s been said that many people get depressed during the holidays. I, too, have been known to feel a bit of melancholy during this time of year. So, being the analytical person that I am, naturally I look deeper.
I heard it said on a news program, that people tend to get lost in memories of Christmas’ past. Some people might have a tragedy that happened, or lost a loved one, which can bring up painful reminders. This is one reason why depression might occur.
Other people, like me, have lovely memories of Christmas’ past. I think the melancholy sets in because those types of holidays are long gone, never to be seen again. I didn’t have my own children to experience holiday memories. All I have are the ones of my own childhood.
For many people there is a lot of pressure to have a perfect happy family gathering. I don’t mean to sound cliche, but Normal Rockwell family paintings come to mind. We may be disappointed when family dysfunction paints a dismal picture instead.
During those waves of melancholy, I let them surface and allow myself to feel whatever emotion reveals itself … for a time. I don’t dwell, but acknowledge. Then, I turn my thoughts over to gratitude for those great memories, maybe even giggle at photos like the ones below.
Learning to accept family members as they are, dysfunction craziness and all, can help those dealing with struggles with perfection.
May we all be warmed by loving memories, and take joy in making happy new traditions as well.
Here are some of my ghosts of Christmas’ pasts when these wonderful grandparents still graced this earth (and sons & dads messed around in photos.)
Above: left to right: Jack (Nana’s 2nd husband), Nana Jo (paternal grandmother) who is in the story on my free memoir reads, Dad, bro, me, Mom in red, Gary my cutie-pie husband, Papa Pasquale whom they called Pat (also written about in my free memoir reads).
Below: left to right: Mom, Grandma Lee (maternal grandmother written about in my free memoir reads), me, Gary behind me and Papa in chair.
Below: This one makes me laugh. 1975. Check out my mom and me in our fake furry collar coats. My bro’s jacket is hilarious and the goofy face he’s making on purpose. I’m holding my Christmas present I got that year. Giggle. I can’t help but laugh as I type about the item. It’s a transistor radio to wear as a wrist watch. Hee, hee.