The Post-Christmas Doldrums

Why the post-Christmas doldrums? What to do about it?

1. Realize that it may be partly a physical problem. We are embodied souls. After eating our way through the holidays, and sleeping differently, and catching germs on a plane or from your niece, you may simply be tired. Getting back into a more healthy rhythm may help. 

2. Understand, however, that you may have spent the holidays feeding your hedonistic tendencies in the wrong direction, in the wrong source of satisfaction. We humans are all hedonistic - lovers of good. We are designed this way. It is no coincidence that God is the ultimate good, the source of all good - all other good is an emanation of His own character. We were designed to enjoy Him forever. But Christmas, ironically, holds many subtle god-replacements for us: a cheerful home; our families gathered; summer sausage and sugar everywhere. But when we fill ourselves with good from other sources, and then that good goes away, we can find ourselves dissatisfied, hungry, and depressed. Perhaps that post-Christmas doldrum is telling you something crucial: you need to satiate your soul on God, in a way that you have not for the last month or more. Tomorrow morning, set as your goal to see God and get your soul happy in Him. Maybe that will mean reading the Bible first, or maybe it will mean coming to Him directly, dumping all your cares from the night before at His feet . . . and then remembering Who you’re talking to - how good He is; how steadfast is His love. Recently I’ve clung to Lamentations 3:22-24: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’" Will you believe that? Will you really hope in Him?

3. Remember: you were made for more than the highest and best moments you’ve ever experienced at Christmas. You were made for a physical place, where you are always with the best, closest family, who will never harm you, or leave you or forsake you. You were made to enjoy forever a physical place that is made entirely new, and that never gets old - a place of never-ending light - your Father that light. You were made for more than sentimental cheer. The post-Christmas doldrums preach their own sermon, as loudly as all our Christmas hymns: “[B]ehold, I am coming soon.” (Rev. 22:7).