And I shall go forth into another holiday season with this mantra: Expectations are premeditated disappointments.

I shall also turn the frickin’ channel when a jewelry commercial comes on the television or that chipper song Feliz Navidad plays on the radio. I will do my damndest to avoid sugar, especially M&Ms. I will avoid the mall and its DMV-ish lines and battles for parking spots.shutterstock_820713

I’m not doing this because I am a bah-humbug kind of girl. I’m doing this because I know that my depression is smack in the middle of the bullseye this time of year. After umpteen years of therapy and medications, I  know that my expectations about Christmas – fueled by the American advertising industry – can push me over the edge.

So, I’m working on having a Charlie Brown kind of Christmas this year. I’m going to focus on putting a single bulb on a pathetic little tree – metaphorically speaking – and remember the nativity. I was raised Catholic, which likely explains a lot of other issues that we’re not going to go into right now, and taught that Christmas is about Christ’s birth.

Santa is supposed to be a side-dish, not the main course. I am going to focus instead on the lessons of the nativity, namely humility and giving.

And in that spirit, I give you this: a simple reminder of the simplicity of Christmas.

Pathetic Christmas tree image available from Shutterstock.