Christmas isn’t always a happy season for everyone. The Reverend Deborah Stowers says even the festive mood of the holiday causes problems for some. Oftentimes people have trouble during holiday seasons, and Stowers says there are statistics about an increase in depression and a rise in suicides and suicide attempts during this season.
Stowers, the pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Sergeant Bluff, says all the ads and decorations make a lot of us feel like everyone else is happier and more festive than we are. The season has such high expectations placed upon it, everyone thinks they ought to be like the images of a Currier & Ives print, a Norman Rockwell family — but Stowers says when we deal with the realities of our own situation and life as it is, we always come up short of those ideals.
She says for those who’ve lost a job or a farm or a loved one, seen failure and sadness, gotten bad news from a doctor or moved far away from friends and family, the season isn’t about joy…but she says it can still be about the promise of comfort that the Christian religion offers.
“Certainly not of wild gaiety or happiness, but rejoice that into their lives a savior has come — a savior who loves them in every situation, loves them whether they’re rich or poor, whether they’re happy or sad, whether they’re healthy or ill, whether they have family or not, but loves them.” The northwest Iowa pastor says for those having a Blue Christmas, quiet worship may offer comfort without increasing their stress.