Christmas Ain’t Your Birthday!

Hey Girl Hey,

Bring it in close, I wanna whisper something in your ear. Closer now. Christmas ain’t your birthday! Well, unless, of course,  your birthday is actually December 25th on that license of yours—you know the one with the” glamour shot” you probably  decline to show most folks? Anywho, what I’m getting at is the true meaning of Christmas… or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or the Festival of Lights or whatever you choose to celebrate if you celebrate during what is traditionally known as the “Holiday Season” in North America.


The purpose of  all of the above-named holidays in ALL the faith traditions they represent is renewed HOPE & purpose, re-connecting with loved ones and reminiscing on the memories of holidays past. It is a time for sharing love, promoting peace, and looking forward to the future with a sense of expectation. It is a season of joy, laughter, food, festivity, fun, and philanthropy. The holiday season represents so much to so many, but I tell you what it ain’t and what it was never meant to be: our personal “gimme fest.”


Unfortunately, many us were raised writing out a list of everything we wanted to make our lives complete to our BFF Santa in the North Pole. We baked cookies to entice him down our chimney (if we had one) and tried to sleep so when we woke, our requested items would magically appear around a decked-out tree. Meanwhile, the adults in our lives schemed, scrapped, saved, and even went into debt playing “Santa.”


Every generation giving more gifts that were bigger, better, and more expensive than the last. So one would believe that our children became increasing grateful, angelic, and filled with contentment and wonder—right? WRONG! Now more than ever, we see more children AND adults developing mental and behavioral disorders, social disconnection, entitlement, disillusionment, and frankly just being unhappy and behaving badly. Suicide, substance use, and self-harming behaviors are at an all-time high, and I am diagnosing  more depression and anxiety disorders than I have EVER seen in my 11 years as a physician.


So I submit to you, that we don’t need another Holiday Wish List. What we need is some HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and a lot more LOVE. We need genuine connection and safe spaces to be vulnerable within our communities. I personally believe we need Jesus, but if that’s not your holiday, it’s ok, you can still get some of this love I’m slinging too!


There is no need to stress yourself out trying to buy a bunch of things and run a bunch of places. There is no need to stake your happiness on what shows up under the tree for you this year, or on who is or isn’t standing under the mistletoe. Your kids will be alright with one small gift this year and one they can give to someone in need. The important things are intentional time with loved ones spent sharing joy, promoting peace, healing old wounds, soul train linin’ in your ugly Christmas sweater (even if your dance moves need work), eating good, and making memories! Happy Holidays, Girls!

Check out the Book “Christmas Is Not Your Birthday: Living and Giving like Jesus” by Mike Slaughter


**Now, I know the holiday season can be very difficult for some folks, especially given the number of people we’ve lost over the past couple of years. If you or a loved one find yourself in need of urgent mental health help, please call the GA Crisis line 1-800-715-4225.




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