Today, I will take down my Christmas tree. I always find this chore a bit depressing because it means the holiday season is over and life will return to its normal routine. And honestly, I love being at home and don’t miss my job when I’m on break. So, it is sad “putting away Christmas.”
I think “the most wonderful time of the year” is followed by the most difficult months of the year. I admit it is often hard to find much to celebrate in the dark, cold months of January, February, and March. Getting out in the cold to drive to work in the dark and come home in the dark is a challenge. The sun doesn’t shine much during these months, either.
So, what are we to do? Sit around depressed and despondent until April or May? No, we must determine to rejoice, to count our blessings, and to create opportunities to celebrate.
Psalm 9:2 says, “I will rejoice in You and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Clearly, rejoicing and being in a good mood are acts of the will. We must not act on those feelings of depression or discouragement but determine that we will counteract those feelings by taking positive steps. And the determination to do that must come now, before we are discouraged, so we have a plan.
We cannot wait until we are in the midst of a battle to go looking for weapons. (And make no mistake, it is a spiritual battle.) So, today, get your battle gear in order and your armor on. Here are some practical ways to fight the winter blues and blahs. These aren’t new ideas; you probably know them already. I hope reminding you will help your year get off to a great start.
1. Read the Word. When we are discouraged there is no better place to go than the Word of God. Turn to the Psalms. David expresses a full range of human emotions, including discouragement, and his praises to God, who lifts him up and out.
2. Speak the Word/Write the word. Memorize scriptures that will help you fight the battle and overcome the despondency. Or, write key scriptures on note cards that you can easily access and read aloud when you are feeling the blahs. Record your blessings. Focus on the positive.
3. Get moving. Get some exercise. Get outside. Get some light. Put on some music. Sing. Dance. Get those endorphins going.
4. Eat green (or healthy.) Get rid of the holiday excess of carbohydrates and get some veggies back in your diet.
5. Bless someone. Do something for someone. Get your mind off of you and bless a friend or co-worker.
6. Learn something new or revive an old hobby. Give yourself something to look forward to. Do something fun.
7. Celebrate. Planning parties and gatherings, for me, is one of the delights of the holiday, despite the work. Plan a gathering with family or friends. You don’t need a reason, but you could probably find one. Perhaps a family member has a birthday or anniversary. Or make Valentine’s Day your mid-winter celebration. Celebrate the love of Jesus.
As difficult as it is to take that first decoration off of the Christmas tree, it is time to move on. Life does not stand still. And when the tree is down and the decorations are put away, I feel a measure of satisfaction and accomplishment because I have vacuumed, dusted, and organized my living space. The clutter is gone.
So, put on your favorite music and celebrate your space. Sing, dance, and rejoice. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Until next time,