Have you ever come down with a nasty case of the post-Christmas blues? You know the kind I’m talking about. It’s two o’clock on Christmas day, you’re sitting in your living room surrounded by approximately 2.4 miles of wrapping paper, and you start to get this sinking feeling. You slowly begin to realize that Christmas wasn’t all you thought it was going to be. You got some nice gifts, ate some suh-weet food, and got a slight tear in your eye when you watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, although you never would acknowledge that you were actually crying. But in spite of all this it seems like a let-down.
Christmas is the season of hype. At 12:01 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, malls put up Christmas decorations, radio stations begin playing Christmas carols, and Old Navy begins selling jeans for 70% off. Everywhere you look somebody is telling you that they can satisfy you. Get an HD TV and you’ll be happy. Get your wife diamond earrings and she’ll love you forever (or until next Christmas). Get a new cellphone that makes phone calls, plays music, makes espresso, and acts as a personal trainer and you’ll finally find some satisfaction.
But when Christmas day comes and goes and all the gifts are unwrapped, it feels really hollow. Why? Because it is really hollow. Empty, shallow, a facade, whatever you want to call it. We get the Christmas blues when we place our hope and joy in these things.
So how do you give the Christmas blues a big kick in the pants? Follow the advice of the Psalmist. In Psalm 43:4 we read, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you…” Do you want to avoid feeling deflated after Christmas? Go to God your exceeding joy. Be very intentional about finding your deepest and sweetest joy in God himself. Don’t look for joy in family, friends, presents, Christmas dinner, or anything else. Find your joy in God.
How do you do this? Here’s one practical suggestion. At some point on Christmas, spend time with God, your exceeding joy. If you can, spend some personal time reading God’s word and praying. As you spend time with God, you’ll find yourself refreshed and filled with the joy that only God can give.
Don’t let the Christmas blues rule you on Christmas. Go to God, your exceeding joy, and find true satisfaction.
Originally published December 24, 2007