Beating the Post-Christmas Blues

Primary Audience – To those not feeling the yuletide cheer lately.

Well in some sense, Christmas, the observable holiday is over. For many, there is a sense of relief. For others, they’ll miss it because it was a great time. For me, it’s a bit of both. But for some others, this begins a rough patch called the post-Christmas blues.

What are the post-Christmas blues? To be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I used to think it meant that it was a cute way of recovering from the hectic holiday season. But over time, it has come to mean more as an actual letdown marked by emotions like bitterness, hurt, loneliness and anger. A couple years ago, a person I respected told me, “Now that Christmas is over, I don’t have anything to look forward to and this one wasn’t that good!” Intending on a discussing the deeper meaning of Christmas, I asked, “What about the promise of the New Year?”  The person, being a bit older than me, condescendingly explained that when I got to be his age, I’ll feel like him too, “It’s the same thing every year, Christmas too ….”.


Because of who he was, he should have known better.

I do not believe that celebrating Christmas magically takes our problems away. Further, I understand the complications brought from families gathering, awkward moments of gift-giving at work, and mounting credit card bills. Celebrating the “occasion” of Christmas may be the reason for these things, but I am not sure that celebrating the meaning of Christmas was actually done. If there wasn’t a moment where your heart said, “We are so blessed that Jesus came into our world …”, you really missed something. This is among the reasons that I love Advent, it invites me to participate in discovering the many beautiful aspects of Christmas – some for the first time and some for the seemingly hundredth time.

It’s been years, since I have felt the true letdown after Christmas. Eventually, I remember the guilt catching up with me. One year I was in college and I went to Israel the day after Christmas. A few days later it dawned me that I had been student of Christian religion the entire semester and for the beginning of the trip as opposed to being a worshipper and a Christian pilgrim.

Another year, I remember thinking thatI I could not wait til Christmas was over.


Because of who I was, I should have known better.

My conscience still flinches when I remember those words. I was in ministry and burning out. Israel not being an option that year, I eventually sat down and asked myself what was it that I should have been dwelling on this month. Later, I made several solid resolutions that year, among them was to live my life in a way to never feel that way. Among other factors, observing Advent (& Lent, etc.) in a deeper sense, was very helpful for me.

These past few years, the blessings have been reading through the Gospels, an Advent devotional, spending adequate time in prayer, reflection, journaling. While I do not think there has ever been an Advent that I have done those things ever day, the beauty has been found in the consistent practices of a combination of them. This time has culminated in a beautiful Christmas Eve service then spending Christmas with Susan and my family (and now also kids!).

For those that find themselves fighting the post-Christmas blues, I encourage you to take the book of Matthew, read through the Christmas story, take out a journal, and reflect on what is the goodness of it all? How did such a preposterous story change everything? And among the many roads the mind races down, consider what has Christmas changed for you. I think the answer to that is the answer to the blues.


  1. great post Tim
    when we are able to center in on the true spirit of Christmas (and yes, Advent reading in preparation help) then that same Spirit is available Dec 26th and on.
    yes, the commercialism and glitz of Christmas fades away our focus on the Christ child can and should remain constant.
    I do miss the 24 hour radio station Christmas music however, but thank God for pandora radio!!!

  2. another option to avoiding the blues is to move to China – after Christmas is over its straight on into Chinese New Year (Feb. 4th this year). And for all of us who are not Chinese it is a great excuse to get out of the country and head to the beautiful beaches of Thailand. Curry and Snorkeling here we come!

  3. @Dan – yes, thank God for Pandora, haha.

  4. @Jared – “Moving to China as an option”. Yeah but only for those really serious about ministry ☺.
    Enjoy Thailand. That’s among the places that I would love to visit one day.

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