Watch out for that holiday pressure to be happy

By John Armijo
Taken from John Knights of Columbus letter

As we enter the holiday season, many of us are grateful that we can once again gather with our friends and family. We have all spent so much time in isolation it has had a huge effect on our mood and attitude. Where most of us are beginning to turn things around and are getting back to normal, there is still a good portion of people that are still dealing with the after effects. 

So many of us have lost someone during this pandemic, whether it be from COVID or other causes, and were not allowed to properly grieve. A lot of us lost our jobs and many of us are still without jobs. There is still a lot of uncertainty in the world now and there are a lot of people who are unsure how to deal with it. And the holidays, as wonderful as they are, can amplify these anxieties. 

There's a societal pressure they feel that if you're not happy this time of year then there is something wrong with you. It reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas, when he is talking to Linus and says 

"I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel."

Many of us can feel down during the holidays but this year can be especially rough. So what I ask of you brothers isn't for any particular prayer. I would request that you ask God to grant love and peace of mind to those in need of it. I would also ask that you reach out to everyone around you. 

Ask how they are. If you're so inclined, ask them out for a cup of coffee. Show them that love is always there. And if you are one of those who are having a hard time, don't be afraid to ask for help. Show love and concern to those around you. You might be surprised by the love that is given back to you. 

In closing I'll leave you with this, a quote from the great American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.

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