Helping others is the best cure for holiday blues

December 20, 2020

Recently, I’ve had a lot of readers come up to me and ask advice. OK, they are more likely strangers who think I look like a therapist. Probably because I always wear a name tag, not to introduce myself, but in case I get lost, which is highly likely at this time. 

Anyway, the complaints I’ve heard revolve around the holiday blues. It’s considered a real emotional condition. People tell me they missed out on Black Friday shopping because they were watching reruns of “Leave It To Beaver” on the television, they haven’t had the energy to shop online, they are not in the mood to write their Christmas cards, their friends can’t visit because of the virus (OK, if they had any), they can’t look at another mask, and sometimes they have fallen in love with telemarketers, just to hear another voice.

Of course, there is only one solution to the holiday blues, and that is: Snap out of it! Get out of those bacteria-infected, petri dish sweatpants. Put on a nice festive sweater and straight black pants, if you can find a pair you can fit into, since you’ve eaten yourself into the next galaxy. Remove all the cartons of  delivered food that have been lying around since Dewey beat Truman, and then set the table with fine china.

You don’t have to actually cook a meal or bake, since you can buy those food sprays that smell like you’ve been up since dawn, slaving away in the kitchen.

Actually, I have a long history with cooking. Julia Child was once my idol. I took French cooking lessons, heavy on butter and rich with cream. Everything was made from scratch. Pretty soon I had to break it off. Meals began to resemble a Carnival Cruise buffet with a French accent.

Then along came vegan diets and, it goes without saying, Martha Stewart. No, cooking is out for me. It’s some kind of political decision linked to global warming.

What you need for the holiday blues is a holiday blues hobby. You know, like stamp collecting, winemaking or shell collecting. Many people have turned to knitting long scarves, eventually winding the whole house in festive colors.

You have to be prepared, though, to look at your shell collection a year later, think about it, shrug your shoulders and head for the nearest dumpster. What were you thinking? Unfortunately, that’s what happens to most hobbies where you collect things. Well, maybe that shell you painted with the likeness of Marilyn Monroe on it; you might save it. Not that I would do anything like that – I’m just saying.

You still should consider a hobby for those holiday blues. There are hobbies that involve other people, like running errands for those who can’t get out, picking up and sending that special card for a friend, bringing a special dinner for an elderly neighbor, calling someone you know is alone, giving to charities like Toys for Tots, and generally looking out for times when you can make a difference in someone else’s day.

This type of holiday blues hobby will cure your case of the holiday blues. Guaranteed.


  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter