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Holding on for the holidays

“Christmas’ll be here before you know it,” my mother used to say with dread as if time was a runaway train chugging along slowly in the spring only to jump the tracks by December.

Well, ma, Christmas is here again. Of course, it’s absurd to think that time moves at different speeds, but lo and behold, I could have sworn we just celebrated Christmas a few months back.

It wasn’t that my mother hated Christmas, on the contrary, but the demands and pressure of figuring out what gifts to buy, often with not enough money, cook and get the house ready all with a bunch of screaming younguns. It was all a bit much.

Certainly, Christmas is the special time for celebrating the birth of Christ, for being with family and friends, but despite the glittering decorations, party invitations and sweet confections, it’s not a happy time for all. December can be a tough month depending on how great or not-so-great your year was. Low-grade depression filters in with all the pressure to be smiley-happy simply because it’s the holiday season.

For those who have had a loved one pass during the holidays, depression can be a lot more than low-grade.

The last month of the year is inevitably a time for taking stock and remembering. It’s OK to not be so giddy and happy. It’s OK to cry.

So hang on everybody, it’ll be over soon.

Don’t eat too much and don’t get mad at those crazy relatives of yours. Stay in the moment and seek out a spiritual space, supportive friends and a good book.

Life will get back to normal and soon we’ll be back to saying, “Christmas’ll be here before you know it.”