The Illusion of Christmas Spirit

Holiday depression or Holiday Elation?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
The Power of Christmas

I recently watched a holiday movie where the Mother was pleading with her children about behaving in the “Christmas Spirit.” I often find this time of year to be filled with ironies and dichotomies. It seems people either fully embrace the holidays or completely detest them; there doesn’t appear to be any middle ground. Perhaps some of this extremism is due to the expectations we often have of how things are “supposed’ to be this time of year, thus explaining the “Christmas Spirit” sentiment.

Instead of approaching each day with equanimity, we seem to give specific holidays a certain power over us, influencing how we feel or choose to behave. We become attached to these ideas and imaginings that we have been socialized with, generation after generation. It’s in these attachments that we lose our objectivity and our connection to the present moment. In this disconnect, we reactively either run away or submerse ourselves into ideations. And then, just as quickly as the season passes, our expectations and illusions fade. We return to expecting less, wanting more and going about our day to day. Our emotions no longer captive to the calendar, until the next holiday approaches, Valentine’s Day…

Perhaps if we focused more on acceptance rather than expectation, more on allowing rather than denying, more on gratitude, rather than cynicism, we can regain the power over our emotions and over our choices, and every day, can be met with equanimity and opportunity to tell a different story. One that reflects a spirit of truth, love and compassion, every day of the year. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Your Brain on Joy

by Dr. Michael Merzenich

Building family traditions on a good night’s sleep

by Manasi Gangan

11 Tips on How to Survive the Holidays While in Grief.

by Elizabeth Entin

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.