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Opinion

December 20, 2013

Help those for whom Christmas is 'blue'

For some, “Blue Christmas” is just a catchy tune made popular by Elvis Presley. But for others, it’s much more than that. 

“Holidays grow different when we grow older, when we lose a loved one,” said Kate Hewlett of Oneonta in a recent interview with The Daily Star. 

Her words remind us all that “the most wonderful time of the year” isn’t necessarily so wonderful for everyone. 

Hewlett is organizer of the Peer Alliance Group, a support group whose recent meeting featured conversations about how to “beat the holiday blues.”

When the holidays coincide with the anniversary of the death of someone close to us, Christmas can mean sad memories rather than happy ones. For people far from family, the holiday that is all about togetherness can be extremely lonely. Participating in the “season of giving” can be difficult when funds are tight. And cold weather coupled with short days can bring blue feelings, too. 

It is extremely easy to stay caught up in one’s personal needs at this time of year. There are so many demands on one’s time, from holiday parties and gift exchanges to shopping for family or planning meals and get-togethers. And stress levels can rise as we jockey in crowded parking lots and stores or wait in line at the post office.

But it’s worth picking our heads up once in a while to see if the people around us could use a helping hand during the holidays. 

Maybe it’s extending an invitation to an elderly neighbor for, if not a full holiday meal, just a cup of coffee, a few Christmas cookies and a chat. 

Maybe it’s a silly gift to put a smile on the face of a co-worker who seems a bit down. 

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