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Summary: Even though Dec. 25 has come and gone, there is still a reason to celebrate and live life to the full! There is good news for us that is good news 365 days a year, 24/7! We are favored by God! He is for us not against us! And His love makes all the differ

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Beating the After Christmas Blues

Intro: Christmas can be such a whirlwind. There is shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, parties to go to, family to see, Christmas programs, concerts, and who knows what else! Once it is all over and the tree and decorations all come down, some people can feel a little sad or depressed. I did a little research and compiled some advice from experts on how to avoid feeling this way after Christmas. Some of the advice is pretty good. I’ll let you decide for yourself:

1. Get Off the "High": Many people keep the shopping and spending going too long. It's like a drug. You need to go "cold turkey" and move on.

2. Stick to a Budget: Being in debt keeps the blues going for several reasons; couples fight over money, guilt sets in, and you don't have money to do something when you want. A very small percentage of Americans are rich- most of us must stick to a budget.

3. Find something else to look forward to. Start planning another big event. It could be a Super Bowl party, a Valentine's Day party, or maybe even a vacation. Set your sights on something in the future.

4. Get active! Maybe you ate too much over the holidays. Exercise will definitely make you feel better. Take a walk every day or do what you enjoy, but just get moving!

5. Hunker down at home! Read some good books, curl up by the fire, and enjoy your family. Take naps, watch movies, find things to do around your house. It's cold outside anyway, right? It’s okay to hibernate a little. Just don’t disconnect with people too long.

6. Start a new project at work or at home. This should give you a lift! Focus on thinking, not feeling. You might even take a class to broaden your knowledge or skill in some area.

7. Get rid of “stuff.”

Grab a garbage bag and fill it with stuff. Put the bags in the garage, and then clean the garage. Get rid of it all. (Donate to charity- Nazarene Church hosting Compassion Ctr.).

8. Change your diet dramatically. Do a juice fast, or something very cleansing and healthy within the constraints of your physical condition. Get that sugar and unhealthy substances out of your system and replace them with vitamins and minerals. Don't forget your vitamin C.

9. Keep helping other people. Nothing is better for your blues and for other people than helping other people. Christmas is over but the giving should only be just starting. Do something nice for someone every day. Give the trash guy a few extra bucks for hauling away all that Christmas garbage, give bigger tips to restaurant servers, and give a flower to the grocery store check-out lady and other things like that.

10. Make A Plan For Next Christmas. Take out a notebook and start planning for next Christmas. Evaluate what went right this year and what went wrong. Plan to do better next year.

(Adapted from internet articles by Susan Dunn and Plane Williams)

-Perhaps the reason many people feel such a letdown after Christmas is because it didn’t deliver for them. They were hoping to find some comfort and joy, but all they found was an appetite that was never quite satisfied. Something deep within them was left crying out for something more.

-Let me just say that the only thing you can really take with you from Christmas is what happens in your heart. Did you make someone smile? Did you bring encouragement to someone? Did you help somebody? Did you express the love that is in your heart for your family and friends? Did you enjoy doing life with others?

-One of the most difficult Christmases Robin and I can remember happened in North Dakota a year or two after we were married. All of our family was far away and we spent Christmas alone- just the two of us. As much as we loved each other’s company, it was kind of lonely. We didn’t have the interaction with lots of family and friends that we were accustomed to. We had Jesus in our hearts, but we were really missing the comfort of being close to family and friends who loved us for who we were – no matter what!

-So, where am I going with all of this today? Well, I’d like to bring some tidings of comfort and joy that bring us right back to the true meaning of Christmas. Even though Dec. 25 has come and gone, there is still a reason to celebrate and live life to the full! There is good news for us that is good news 365 days a year, 24/7! We are favored by God! He is for us not against us! And His love makes all the difference in this world!

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