Joy, Depression, and the Volatility of the Holiday Season
The holidays are usually a joyous time where children excitedly await the arrival of old Saint Nick and the populace scramble to stay ahead of the Christmas rush. Retailers avidly rely on this time of year, typically making at least a third of their revenue during the holiday season. The economy can hinge on the amount of cash outpouring into the retail sector. Everybody’s happy, but not really. Given the current state of horrific events, depression is apparently as much a part of the holidays as the commercial sell-out of Santa and the holiday season itself. To our dismay, the dark events of the season can overshadow the joy it was meant to bring, but this is not a current trend.
A December 17, 1951 Life article ran a story titled “Santa Claus to Santa Stooge”, all about the horrors of Santa shilling products and participating in promotional stunts. Apparently this was a new thing for the Greatest Generation to cope with, on account of the behavior of one of the guys playing Santa in a parade in Ontario. He found himself being rushed by excited children to the point of losing his temper. He responded by kicking wildly at all the children that were mobbing him. The sight of Santa kicking children is enough to make even the toughest of cynics cringe but the emotional damage to children is unfathomable.
For those of us with our mental health intact, it’s time to reach out to others that are alone or who are going through a rough period during the holidays. Humanity has the combined power to blot out a sizable chunk of the volatility and stress that has taken ahold of the holidays. Think of the movie A Christmas Carol, where a disagreeable, money-grubbing, old man was spiritually transformed to see the beauty and feel the love of his fellow man during Christmas. We all have the ability to transform ourselves and others to see that the joys of life can overshadow the negative, and we don’t have to go bankrupt, financially or spiritually, while doing it. Happy holidays.
Nice sentiments for the season.