rebelling against low expectations

How to Survive the After-Christmas Blues


And then suddenly, it was over.

Weeks and weeks, months and months of secrets and shopping and decorating and waiting for one day – and now in a great big exhalation, that day is over.

All we’re left with is recycling bags full of wrapping paper and a leaning Tower of Pisa stack of leftovers in the fridge.

The snow (or grass) looks browner today, the trees deader, the presents nice but …, the tree a little gaudy, and a feeling of disappointment that wells inside of us like a fresh tear.

I think Christmas truly captures this echo of our longing for something more than the material.

Even when we’ve reached the pinnacle of our euphoria, our highest joy, even when (theoretically) we should be at our happiest, – i.e., during everything that happened on Christmas – when we wake up the next morning or the morning after, we still feel a sense of emptiness.

We’re on an emotional and mental sugar crash from all the ping-ponging emotions we felt on Christmas. We feel a little lost, a little blue. If we made Christmas more about Jesus and less about ourselves, we probably wouldn’t feel this let-down.

But it reminds us: the Christmas high does not satisfy.

And there’s a very good reason for that. The Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck offered this insight:

“The more abundantly the benefits of civilization come streaming our way, the emptier our lives become. With all its wealth and power, it only shows that the human heart, in which God has put eternity, is so huge that all the world is too small to satisfy it.”

There’s a reason Christmas doesn’t cut it. We were created to find the fulfillment of all of our desires in God.

He is the one who leaves us with no kind of post-disappointment. Our weary soul finds needed rest in Him.

Furthermore, it finds fullness of joy in Him. It finds hope and anticipation of a beautiful eternity in Him. It finds peace in Him. It finds grace and mercy in Him.

It finds forgiveness for our greed and anger and worry and frustration and bitterness and depression in Him.

It finds truth in Him. It finds eternal love in Him. It finds life and light in Him, light and life that motivate us to enjoy the good gifts that He gives us but not to try to find fulfillment in them.

This message probably isn’t new to you. Maybe it’s as familiar as turkey and pie to you. It is to me. But we need this reminder.

We need to be told again and again, life is not about you. You can’t find joy on your own.

We were made for satisfaction in God.

On these approaching winter days that may seem gloomy and may seem dark, preach the gospel to yourself and remind yourself that the Christmas high does not satisfy – and that’s okay.

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently __ Comment(s)

Photo courtesy of T-617 and Flickr Creative Commons.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Jaquelle Crowe Ferris

is the former editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (Crossway). She's the co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop and hosts a podcast for youth called Age of Minority. She's married to Joe and lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →