If you’re suffering from the holiday blues, you are certainly not alone. My friend and I used to compete to see which of us would suffer deeper and sooner.
She blew me out of the snowbank one year by scheduling her Christmas blues to start in late September. We then would isolate – as a unit – and wallow for weeks in our ho-ho-hum misery.
We don’t have to do that anymore. No one has to do that anymore, as a couple of tricks work to quash those holiday doldrums.
Before we continue our cruise down Santa Claus Lane, let’s first clear up a small yet vital differentiation. The holiday blues are not the same as full-blown, dark cloud, curl-yourself-into-a-fetal position depression.
The former kicks you down around the holidays. The latter kicks you down, wearing steel-toed combat boots, any time of the year. Depression is a real, yet treatable, menace, although cheery ways to fight holiday blues are likely not going to do you any good.
If you’re suffering depression, get thee to a doctor.
If you’re suffering from holiday blues, try another method.
Go buy a handgun.
This is an especially easy task here in Arizona, since all you have to do is fill out a bit of paperwork and check “No” for that little felony question. In other states around the nation, all you have to do is find a street corner type and tell him you have ready cash.
Don’t worry, you’re not going to be asked to shoot up anything that’s alive, especially rabbits and children. You’ll instead stealthily creep one night into the nearby mall and do away with all those heinous holiday decorations.
Blast out the holly, the jolly, the tinny speakers that have been spewing Christmas tunes since at least Halloween. Don’t forget Santa’s big cardboard throne where he sits and lets kids pee down his leg.
Stick with the large corporations, not the mom and pop shops. And don’t worry about profit. They’ll make it up. A radio report noted retail sales were up this week for the fifth week in a row.
Shooting up the shopping mall will not only make you feel better, but is also quite a statement against the greedy consumerism that has sucked all the love out of the season.
If handguns are not your style, you can always go lower key and punch out an inflatable snowman. The one I punched sideways in a Brooklyn yard still remains one of my fondest holiday memories.
Once you’re done killing off the commercialism, kill off those memories, even the fond ones. The University of Maryland Medical Center says one of the major causes of holiday blues is trying to get every current Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza to live up to the joyous recollections of those gone by.
Or perhaps you have some lofty vision in your mind of how the holidays ought to be, one that never quite matches up with reality and hurls you into a tailspin each time it crosses your mind.
Repeat after me: “Normal Rockwell painted fiction.”
If you want the facts, the holidays for many are a bleak and awful time, full of dry turkey, drunk relatives falling backwards into Christmas trees and expensive toys that never come.
That brings us to our third holiday blues buster. Go help someone else.
Even if it’s something as small as donating an old coat or opening a door for a woman and her 22 children, helping others spreads cheer and washes sadness, anger and self-pity from the mind.
Why do you think so many volunteers stand around ringing bells outside Wal-Mart? Doing things for others makes us forget our own brand of misery.
Heck, you may even want to forget about the handgun if you’ve a solution as pat as that.
Whichever holiday blues buster you choose, make sure to top it off with a cozy, hot bath.
It’s hard to be sad when you’re afloat in warm, vanilla bubbles.
Besides, you owe it to yourself for a job well done, for getting through another round of holidays.
PLEASE NOTE: This column is not meant as medical advice or a substitution for doctor’s orders. The advice about shooting up the mall is meant in jest and not meant to be followed unless you are really that ticked off and don’t mind spending your holidays in jail.
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist, performer and poet who was glad to find her punch did not permanently disable the inflatable snowman. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. See more writing and art from RYNdustries at ryngargulinski.com, cafepress.com/ryndustries and rynski.etsy.com.
What do you think?
Do you suffer from the holiday blues?
How to you quash it?
Have you ever been dumb enough to shoot up a shopping mall?