Christmas is usually a time of joy with lots of shopping, giving and receiving of gifts, decorations, carols, get togethers, etc. But what if you’re not feeling the joy of the season? What if it’s not been such a good year for you and all the noise and seeing so many smiling faces is making you mad rather than glad? What if you are alone and it doesn’t seem to make sense to celebrate without company?

Well, first of all, I’d like you to know that you’re not the only one feeling this way. In an article on Explore God website, Dr David Farmer observes that “sadly, what is touted as the most wonderful time of the year is, for many of us, the most dreaded time of the year. Instead of joy, love, and peace, the Christmas experience is filled with loneliness, depression, and anxiety.”

(Related: Beyond The Decorations And The Lights)

The traditions surrounding Christmas can be overwhelming for some and rather than bring joy can bring sadness at not measuring up. I suggest you draw up your schedule according to your means and physical ability, not anybody else’s. It’s okay to not to have decorations, to have less or recycle the same old stuff. It’s okay to do less than your neighbour; it’s okay to be the guest, rather than the host at Christmas parties this year. It’s even okay to sleep through most of the season if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends all year.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t get caught in the comparison trap this Christmas season.” username=”edithohaja1″]

Just don’t get caught in the comparison trap. Steer clear of the social media if you are vulnerable to the blues from seeing the beautiful things others are wearing and eating, the exciting things they are doing, the fabulous places they are visiting. Derive fulfilment in your circumstances and remember that joy is a state of mind, not an activity or possession. Therefore one can be as happy with a soda and sandwich as with a three-course meal and expensive wine. One can be as happy at home as at the most exotic holiday resort.

[bctt tweet=”Joy is a state of mind, not an activity or possession.” username=”edithohaja1″]

Don’t also feel compelled to prove to others how joyful you are. Just be true to yourself. If something has happened to make you sad, like a bereavement, you can’t ignore it simply because it’s Christmas. Grieving is part of the healing process. Don’t embrace what happiness expert and psychologist, Dr Melissa Weinberg, calls forced positivity. This, she explains, stems from the wrong notion that we must be happy all the time and that sadness is a burden, a notion that is reinforced at festive periods like Christmas.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t feel compelled to prove to others how joyful you are.” username=”edithohaja1″]

But if your sadness is just a result of being alone, I have some suggestions of stuff you can do to handle that in the following post:
Feeling Alone This Christmas: Here Are Tips On What To Do

Whatever the case, remember the name of Jesus, the Messiah, is Emmanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23). He is with you everyday, in the Christmas season and beyond it. As you fellowship with Him in praise and through His word, joy will bubble up from within you regardless of your circumstances. You may not be loud and boisterous about it but you won’t be feeling woebegone either.

(Related: Emmanuel – Poem and Bible Verses)

It will be a merry Christmas for you finally. It might not be everyone’s definition of merry but yours in partnership with your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.?❤️?





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  • Thank you so much! This is something a lot of folks don’t want to admit that they go through. Sharing this on Facebook.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Thanks a lot for your visit and the share. Was at your website last night. God’s abundant grace in your ministry and merry Christmas to you!

  • Mummy this piece is encouraging! I so much love the part where you stated “Derive fulfilment in your circumstances and remember that joy is a state of mind, not an activity or possession.” Some people have planned things, such as buying cars this year – and a lot of other things, but eventually they were disappointed. Such people don’t need to disturb themselves if they have read Jeremiah 29:11- The Lord has a plan for them to prosper and not to harm them. They might be too desperate to cruise with their car this year, but the reason they could not afford it this year is best known to HIM! I will advise they repeat what the psalmist said in Psalm 146:2 – that he will sing praise to the Lord as long as he lives!

  • susanhomeschooling

    “If something has happened to make you sad, like a bereavement, you can’t ignore it simply because it’s Christmas. Grieving is part of the healing process.” I love that. It applies to any agony or sadness at this time of year.

  • Love your post! Christmas can be hard to navigate for some who are going through a sad season of life. TY for your kind and tender approach in reaching out to them with the love of Jesus!

  • Sunday, Ezekwesiri Daniel

    “Don’t get caught in the comparison trap this Christmas season.”
    Christmas season is seen as a platform for “show off” by many. Most times, it compels people to do things they are not supposed to do. Because they feel they have to meet up with their contemporaries forgetting that Christmas is a season to celebrate with your loved ones and probably get to meet friends and relatives u haven’t met in a long time and sometimes make new friends and live joyfully with what ever u can afford.
    Thanks for this article and merry Christmas.

  • egbo Rita Somtochukwu

    Really nice piece, Ma.
    I remember I had that feeling once: it’s Christmas no clothes, shoes, etc. But then I looked around n I was thankful that my family was there with me. It’s all I can ever ask for Christmas….

  • mirian ndawe

    Thanks for this piece ma, I think grieving is okay, we’re humans we can’t be happy all the time…But we shouldn’t let our grief blind us from seeing the joy around us.

  • Amana Sharon Umola

    Amazing one ma. The time when people’s self control and ability to restrain from entering depths is tested is during the Christmas season. Ma, am from Ofu LGA in Kogi state. Ma, very few celebrate the essence of the celebration. It is more like a competition amongst the villagers on whose clothes and whose hair is the finest. Ma, they cannot pay school fees oh but then to make hair and buy clothes and shoes. If i had my way, i would have taken this story and printed and shared it to them. Thank you for continually being a blessing, ma!

    • Edith Ohaja

      If you have a way of sharing it to them close to the Christmas season when it will have greater impact, then by all means do. Have a beautiful Sunday and remain blessed!

  • Amana Sharon Umola

    My point is the real essence of the Christmas season is lost to them as their focus is looks ma.

  • Oma

    Happiness is a state of mind ,this got to me .
    Christmass to most people is about how fancy u look ,the type of food u eat that day ,even the ones that try going to church on Christmas day ,their mind is always on pastor do fast we have food to eat and places of enjoyment to go to.
    The true essence of celebrating Christmas has gone to winds.
    I pray God reshape our mind in knowing that the reason for celebrating christmas is not for food or clothes but for the fact that jesus was born.

  • Ugama Gloria Nkechinyere

    What gives me happiness most during Christmas season is always the fact that none of my family member is dead or did not make it to the celebration. This alone gives me joy in the mist of no cloth and shoes. Nice writeup Ma!

  • Kat

    Rightly said aunty. Looking back at the Christmas season, I’m really glad I didn’t get caught up in the ‘comparison trap’ as you put it. I enjoyed my fried rice and chicken and I slept so soundly I didn’t even regret staying indoors. What’s the fuss all about anyway? Christ wouldn’t have wanted us to live above our means trying to stick to the status quo. All that matters is that our hearts are filled the joy of the messiah’s birth. That’s more than enough. Thanks for this post aunty?

  • Nnamani Oluoma Esther

    Sometimes during the Christmas season, I feel like I have a lot to do and the resources necessary are not forthcoming. I feel sad when I don’t meet my expectations for Christmas. But this write-up has opened my eyes to the happiness that can be gotten when you have a free mind and just enjoy the season for what it is not what you have.

  • Eze chinyere

    Christmas should be a season of joy and celebration of the birth of Christ. Sadly, most times we tend to rate the season based on acquisition of material things like food and clothing. This post has opened our eyes to see the real joy of Christmas and be content with whatever we have to celebrate the season. Even if we encounter difficulties or happenings that may steal our joy, we are called to rely on God to replenish us and fill us with his joy.

  • Arene Ifeyinwa Ketochukwu

    We have every reason to be joyful during Christmas. If not for anything but for the gift of life – for the opportunity for celebrating Christmas again

  • Kalu Divine Ogechi

    I believe Christmas is the season for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and not in the acquisition of material things..God will help us not to forget the essence.

  • Awaka vivian

    Though Christmas is long gone, and we are past 2018.i got beautiful life guides from the post such as, don’t try to show people how much joy or happiness you have, just stay true to yourself, and the one that says joy is a state of mind not an activity or possession. Inspiring

  • Euphemia Nwele

    We’ve got the key to our happiness, it isn’t a responsibility by the things around us or the people around us. The words in this piece applies to everything else.
    Thank you ma

  • Chinenye lucy

    When ever I feel so shooked up during Christmas period I try as much as possible to move away from what is happening at that moment and find something else to do either read the word of God or go out .

  • ifunaya chukwuemeka

    Here in this part of the country it seems as if its a competition,many activities, as people if not careful will spend all their savings fro January to that December, thanks for the lessons. I have a problem of also trying to also prove myself that i belong etc but now i know better ,thanks for the advice……

  • Onu Tochukwu

    Thanks for this nice work. We shouldn’t limit our happiness in Christmas season to material things. We can reflect on the word and rejoice for our savior for eternity is born.

  • Ukwueze Oluchi B.

    Christmas is a moment that Reminds us that Jesus Christ brought our salvation through his death on the cross of Calvary

  • Annabelle Orji

    Thank you ma for this post. A lot of us feel that it’s Christmas and we are supposed to feel a certain way. We all have our different moods and during this season the rush to get and receive material things might deepen the sense of unaccomplishment or emptiness we feel. It’s really an inspiring post.

  • Onoyima Juliet

    This is really helpful, we tend to push our joy and happiness to people and things around us unconsciously. We feel – it is my husbands responsibility to make me happy, I derive joy in shopping. No! This is wrong joy like you said earlier is a state of the mind, it starts from within us. When we can first develop that inner joy with ourselves, we wouldn’t be affected by this things.

  • Ndiwe Vivian

    “Joy is a state of mind not a possession”.
    People need to hear more of this everyday.
    Bless you ma.

  • Ugwu Chika Samson

    Yes it is normal thing, people feel sad most of time especially time like Christmas, everyone can not be happy at the same time , what matters is how you control your mood. Wow! MA I like your post keep it up .

  • Onah ukamaka blessing

    Thanks very much MA for this wonderful post, this post is an inspiring insight on how to get out of bad mood during Christmas by connecting with God.

  • Anorue John-Daniel Kelechi

    Bless you Ma’am! A lot of knowledge contained in this text. Mostly Christmas is seen as a period to show off ones class, purchase many materials or articles for celebration, and this is done discarding the spiritual aspect of the season. We ought to also purchase new positive spiritual materials so as to make our hearts and souls a conducive dwelling for the coming Saviour who we celebrate. Marantha!!!

  • Anorue John-Daniel Kelechi

    True! I myself fight any sad emotion that comes up during Christmas and I see myself getting sad the more. A great lesson learnt from this text.

  • Bessong Faith Ada

    Christmas will definitely come and go and everything will normalize. Its a perfect time to reflect and thank God for his goodness towards us but its obvious we no longer do the needful during Christmas rather to decorate and prepare our flesh instead of our soul endangering ourselves to worldly things. oh lord give us the grace to stand in your words always.

  • Isaac Ella

    Great Piece Ma. Christmas is a season of joy. Having a great celebration is everyone’s dream but due to hurdles of life, some people find themselves not to have a good celebration. Christmas is all about Jesus coming to give us hope for better things. So for the season, we should hope for a better tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

  • Nnachetam Favour

    Joy like you said is a state of mind, we don’t have to anchor our joy on what we receive or what we don’t receive. Our joy should not be just physically based. We focus on Christ who’s joy is our strength and he is the antidote for depression. Thanks for lifting my spirit with this ma.

  • Ugwu Ogochukwu A

    Very nice piece ma, I must commend. This article really got to me. Finding joy in whatever you have or what comes your way is a virtue which every person should possess. That way, you get happiness and fulfilment not minding the season which will be very good for you at that particular time.

  • Aniebo Beauty

    “If something has happened to make you sad, like a bereavement, you can’t ignore it simply because it’s Christmas. Grieving is part of the healing process.” I love that. It applies to any agony or sadness at this time of year. We give God praise

  • Ezeh John Onyekachi

    This is a nice piece of advice .This post is a cure for souls of victims of this circumstances and a vaccine for others .This post deserves to be published in a national newspaper, for wider consumption. Being optimistic in times of challenges and cutting one’s coat according to one’s size will help one not to be into unnecessary pressure.

  • Izuogu, Ozioma Precious

    Joy comes from Christ, who is known as the grantor of joy. It is good that we don’t allow or accept anything that will affect our joy.

  • Abonyi Chisom E

    Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus. having known what Jesus came to the world for, I don’t think there’s any joy greater than appreciating God for sending His only son to world for the atonement of the sins of man. For the fact that we are alive to witness another birth of the messiah is something worth celebrating with joy… Let’s avoid comparing ourselves with others and find within ourselves.

  • Favour Nnaemeka

    Joy comes from within! Let us try to remember and celebrate the reason for the season more instead of competing in an unofficial competition for who has the most decorated house, who wore the best clothes or who went to the best place. These things do not really matter and dwelling on them takes away the real purpose of Christmas.

  • Favour Nnaemeka

    – Joy comes from within! Let us try to remember and celebrate the reason for the season more instead of competing in an unofficial competition for who has the most decorated house, who wore the best clothes or who went to the best place. These things do not really matter and dwelling on them takes away the real purpose of Christmas.

  • Ezekiel Stanley C.

    Wow! Happiness a state of mind? That sounds philosophical to me as of 10 years ago but it is the bitter truth thomough. Let me share this experience, I once leaved in a compound where there were many children as a result of different familes around, you understand right? Now, It have become a norm that every festive season like Esther, Christmas just to mention a few, you see the kids in their diverse colourful attires and shoes, how they come about it then I don’t bother asking.
    My parents, not that financially bouyant though will always sound the usual sermon, “my son things are hard,” seriously I will just node but deep down my heart I am not happy, infact sometimes I wished otherwise…. I hated festive seasons so much then..
    But now, as an adult I understand what some of what my parents always say… Of a truth happiness is a good thing of the mind and not possession or activities.. God bless you Dr. Edith , more of this wonderful pieces oooohhh!!!

  • Ewa-Ifeanyichukwu Chidinma

    Christmas is a time of giving, sharing and helping others just as Christ who is the reason for the season did during His ministry on earth. Let’s not loose sight of this by focusing on material things.

  • Chidinma Obasi

    Understanding the time and season which we are matters alot. Though, we experience ups and down we should not forget that our happiness lies in our hands.

  • Abasiofon

    Christmas is not just a time of joy, some people are going through a lot during this period even when they won’t admit it.Let us try to share the little joy we have with people,pray for them and encourage them

  • Agbodike Ogochukwu Maryclaret

    Thank you so much Aunty Edith. You relate so much with us and the regular things we go through, God bless you.

  • Ozukwe mirian chisom

    Nice post ma. To me I think grieving is okay, we can’t be happy all the time or pretend to be happy when we are not just because its christmas but still we should’nt let it blind us to see the joy and happiness around us.

  • Idam Joy Ogwu

    Christmas is not suppose to be a time for comparison or show off, it should be a time for sobber reflection, sharing of gifts, expressing our love one to another, peradventure something sad happens, one has to encourage himself in the Lord.

  • Onah Chiamaka

    In as much as Christmas and New Year should be a time we re-evaluate our achievements for the year, we also ought to remember that it isn’t a time to try to over acquire things that may not be in our budget because of the whole Christmas rush and vibe. We should also learn to be content with what we have or how far we have gotten in the year and prepare our minds to enjoy the full benefits and graces of the season keeping in mind that we would try harder in the new year

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