Some of you have decided to depart from Christmas after finding out that it has just too many pagan roots for your comfort level. Others of you still participate in Christmas but try to keep Christ/Yeshua up front and central, while wading through the materialism, somehow, someway. Regardless of where you are with respect to the holiday in general, it is not hard to observe that there are some emotional expectations during this season that are sometimes pretty hard to cope with. For starters: no one's family can measure up to the ideal Christmas family advertised on the billboards and magazines. Yet we are continually bombarded during an entire month to measure up to some imagined perfect family, lest we become downcast.
So this is just a reminder to wake you up to the fact that there are spirits of depression released at this time of year—so stabilize your spirit and your children's spirits against them. This is not the time to evaluate your life. Just put one foot in front of the other and work harder at anything, improve something, sort, clean, organize, create—and think of little ways to give of yourself to others—as you just get through these two weeks. You'll have time to think deep thoughts later :) One experiences the same phenomenon when one is sick and gets depressed. You can't think straight or see straight when under a fever. Just get those days behind you anyway you can. Sometimes we just have to get through holidays—get them and their extended family complexities behind us.
In my immediate family, we always work harder at this time of year. I always used to work my students harder this entire month in the classroom. My students would skip down the hall with "accomplishment joy" because we did consuming additional projects and learned exciting new things while all the other students moped around and dragged their feet because their bodies were loaded with sugar and their minds with indulgent parties that didn't change their real lives one iota. They were, I think, sick of idleness and sick of themselves in such a sloppy daily condition. :)
So, remember that the spirits of depression are legion right now over the next two weeks. Bouts of depression are even reported in the newspapers. It is part of the pagan satanic design for this time of year, to detract from the incarnation—even though that probably happened during the Feast of Tabernacles a few months ago, in late fall, when shepherds were not out in the snow watching their flocks. (They were there to protect and inspect the lambs that would be offered "without spot or blemish" on the altar on the Temple Mount in nearby Jerusalem for the Fall Holidays-- a picture, albeit hidden at the time, of the one-time redemptive work there of the Lamb of God on our behalf.)
The enemy's modus operundus? Always paint a perfect family—which no one ever has—and in comparison with which everyone will be depressed. Conversely, Christ/Yeshua says "I'll take you where you are, not checking any short week's worth of naughty list, and will love you deeply and you'll find all your satisfaction in Me, not in your family.” Great saints throughout history have discovered this, even in a prison cell or solitary confinement. Jesus/Yeshua says, in effect, "I can make you immeasurably happy with just Myself."
Only the God of the universe has such true persuasion over the soul. That is how much spiritual power is wrapped up in Him. To make the soul utterly content in all situations is a feat, indeed. To have a Savior who can deliver us from soulish discontent for all eternity is amazing. He can lift the soul to ecstasy to the degree one meditates upon Him and His scriptures. Conversely, Santa Claus makes a furtive dip to the earth on one day and abandons you the day after; he is the consummate master of abandonment. His demons traumatize people with visions of perfection in everyone else’s lifestyle. T'aint there. It is all taunting and jeering. Ignore it. You are loved. You are worth blood. You are irreplaceable. Don't forget it in the midst of torn wrappings and wadded up tinsel, and others’ sometimes impossible expectations. Operate in the opposite spirit and be a champion of love for "all seasons."
For further reading, see our booklet/eBook, Why We Got Off the Christmas Bandwagon, and also Christ and His Birth: Object Lessons. For an antidote to the materialistic frenzy of this time of the year, read Keep Your Children from Materialism.