Summary: 1st of 4 at Christmas. The basic outline and some illustrations were adapted from a message by Melvin Newland entitled "Home Baked Happiness"

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Home Baked Christmas

Depression at Christmas is a real problem for a lot of people.

Depression at Christmas - survey results by Christine Webber and Dr David Delvin.

The NetDoctor survey on Depression at Christmas shows quite clearly what many of us have long suspected - that Christmas is difficult for vast numbers of people. It is a particular problem for depressed adults, who often feel worse as the festive season gets underway.

Over 45 per cent of those who responded said that they dread the festive season. Interestingly, New Year doesn’t fare any better than Christmas. The results of the survey show that many people find coping with Hogmanay and all the supposed jollification equally difficult. In fact 43 per cent of respondents said that they did not like New Year ’at all’.

And when asked: ’If you’re already depressed, does Christmas tend to make it worse?’ more than 57 per cent replied that it often or always does.

Reasons for Depression: The reasons for people disliking Christmas are varied. Top hates are:

· Christmas has become too commercial.

· A feeling that everyone is having a better time than you.

· Spending far too much money.

Other dislikes are:

· Eating too much

· Christmas parties

· It makes you miserable.

Many comments from depressed people show just how Christmas seems to add to their woes.

’I’m depressed at the moment and it just adds to the hopelessness’ said one user of the Depression Community.

Another said: ’It’s meant to have a religious meaning for me, so I feel guilty for dreading the whole thing - and this makes me feel even worse.’

Another issue for people is:

· Loss

Sadly, for many people, Christmas reminds them of some terrible loss: a father who died at Christmas, a love affair that ended, or a child lost to death. Clearly when these anniversaries coincide with Christmas, there is little prospect of the festive season bringing uncomplicated and undiluted joy.

There’s another sense of loss involving huge numbers of people these days. It is when their relationship has failed and their children are spending Christmas with the ex-partner. This is a modern phenomenon and it has changed the face of the traditional, family Christmas for hundreds of thousands of people.

So how do you find happiness in all the lights and greenery?

There is another way. Let’s read Luke 2:8-14. Today we’ll use the King James Version – because it is so familiar to us and any other version just doesn’t sound right.

Home Baked Christmas

Luke 2:8-2:14 KJV

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watchd over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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