It is a known fact that there are more suicides and more people depressed during the holidays than in any other time of the year. Many of these people are just alone in society. Others are so overwhelmed with the sing-songy giddiness around them that it is just pure torture for them. The real irony is is that this is the exact opposite of what the holidays should be. This quandary reminds me of the famous quote by Hugo Von Hofmannsthal, “The weariness of long forgotten peoples hangs heavy on my eyelids”.
Another thing that adds to this loneliness of the holidays is having to face extended family or immediate family members who play judge and jury over them because they have not lived up to their idea of an ersatz social substratum. This kind of cruelty cuts deep. So, be they literally alone or around others, their gnawing isolation can cause such a mental downward spiral as to end in disaster.
Giving this yearly tragedy, I would like to propose that everyone who reads this to be extra aware of this problem this time of year, and act accordingly. When you see someone sad and disconnected from others, approach them and just talk with them. Spend some time just to listen to them. This suggestion is not some kind of pop psychobabble, but just plain old human compassion. There is no need to give advice, because most people just need to be listened to and to know that they have been listened to. What a difference it makes!
Listening is a powerful creative act. It is an act of healing. Some other ideas are to volunteer at homeless shelters or soup kitchens, or visit a prisoner. You can spend Christmas morning with your friends and/or family and that evening with someone who is alone, and has nothing. In fact, better than that: invite them over for some holiday chow. They will feel loved. And that is the bottom line. In this way you will discover the true meaning of Christmas and the joy it gives by being mindful to those on the extreme margins of our society. People don’t have to experience another Christmas in hell if they know somebody cares about them. If we don’t do it, then who will? If not now, then when?
The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl: Fairytale of New York
Dec 7, 2011 by RhinoUK
Official video for the The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York. Arguably the greatest Christmas song of all time!