Thursday, November 12, 2015

Not Your Hallmark Holiday

This may seem like it is a little to soon to be writing about the holidays, but they really are just around the corner. I am hoping I can give you some information and some tips to help you through the holiday season and I hope that you would refer back to this post during the next six or seven weeks.

People often talk about the holiday blues or feeling depressed around the holiday season. There is a reason for this. Television, radio and advertisements try to make it feel like everyone is having a "hallmark" type of Thanksgiving or Christmas. If we aren't celebrating like they are on TV, then something must be wrong.  I don't know if you have noticed or not but the ABC Family channel is already running their 50 days of Christmas, or whatever they call it. I personally believe we rush into the holidays a little to early, but that is just my opinion. However, if you have been watching any of the movies on that channel, you will notice a certain theme. It seems like it is always snowing and people are taking sleigh rides through beautiful parks that are all lit up with Christmas lights. The Christmas music is playing, bells are ringing, and in the end everyone is gathered around the decorated table eating a feast made for kings. The movie usually ends with everyone holding hands and going about town singing Christmas carols. The commercials that are on TV can be another problem. It looks like everyone is out shopping and having a great time. They want you to believe that if you don't spend money, you won't be happy. They create the image that you must have everything that is being sold otherwise you won't have a very merry Christmas.

The truth is, the above scenario very rarely ever happens anymore. I don't know about you, but I haven't taken a sleigh ride and sang Christmas carols in a long time. I also realize many of our students have never experienced a Thanksgiving or Christmas like the ones depicted in the movies. I also realize many of you are worrying about what you will have for Thanksgiving dinner or how you will eat over the Christmas season. I hope I can offer you some tips and resources that you can use or maybe a friend of yours could use.

1) Don't expect the holidays to be the same as when you were a little child. They NEVER are. You are not the same as you where when you were a child.

2) Focus on what you have, not what you don't. Ignore the commercials where the husband surprises his wife with a brand new luxury car or a diamond ring. This only leaves you wondering, "What about me?" Remind yourself that it's not the stuff that makes the holidays important.

3) The holidays bring back memories of loved ones, I understand that. Give yourself permission to grieve, and deal with the loss in your own way. If you want to cry, go ahead. If you want to remember your loved one in a special way, go ahead. Light a candle, put together a scrapbook, decorate the grave stone with flowers, or whatever else you find comforting.

I have a short list of places where you may be able to get help with your meals during the holidays, please feel free to use these resources, they are there for you.

           - Trinity Friends Church across from Vantage. Weekly hours are Tuesday from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon and Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:30 pm.

           - Van Wert County Dept. of Jobs and Family Services: 419-238-5430. They can help with a short term family financial need of up to $1000.00

           - Salvation Army: 419-238-9100. They will be able to help or lead you to assistance.

           - Van Wert Ohio Community Action Commission: A regional non-profit that partners with local agencies like the United Way and local churches. Click here for their website.

           - Delphos Interfaith Thrift Store: Not for profit combination thrift store, food pantry and financial assistance entity. 419-692-2942

           - West Ohio Food Bank: A great resource. They work with churches all over Allen, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties. They will help. 419-222-7946. Click here for the list of Paulding county agencies, but you can also find all agencies for each county on this page.

And as always, please stop by and talk if you are having problems this holiday season. If you need food, clothing or just want to talk about some struggles you are having, my door is open for you. Thanks and I hope you relax and enjoy this holiday season.

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