When it came to Christmas parties, I used to be right in the front of the line when it came to complaining. The holidays were already so busy. Why add another activity? It would be just one more time I had to dress up and leave the comforts of my own home to hang out with people and eat lots of food. If it was a work party, I complained double. There would be a lot of back slapping and nice sentiments, but mostly the experience would ring as hollow as a Christmas bell.

keep-calm-and-christmas-party-onI held this belief for many years, until I worked for an employer who did away with our Christmas parties. He, too, was of the philosophy that they were “just one more thing you have to do” around the holidays. At first, I agreed with him. A funny thing happened, though. I started to miss the shows of appreciation, even if I hadn’t believed they were always genuine. I started to miss hanging out with my co-workers outside of the office. I even missed dressing up … a little.

There’s something about a good get-together that can raise anyone’s spirits, even a curmudgeon like myself. This is the time of year when there is no better excuse to get people together, but I don’t really have anywhere to go this holiday season. In the past, I would welcome that, but this year I’m sort of dreading it. I fed off a lot of Christmas cheer last year, and to think that won’t be present this year is a little sad.

Maybe I should throw my own party. Maybe you should, too. It might go against everything you’re feeling right now (and it certainly does for me), but there is a certain strength and joy that comes from people gathered together this time of year. We complain about busyness, but truth be told, I fear boredom more than I fear being overbooked. I think a lot of depressed people feel this way. Boredom reminds us of the void of nothingness we touch sometimes, and we want desperately to avoid it. We also crave love, even though we’re not always sure how to ask for it.

So throw a party this year. And invite me. I’ll even dress up … if I have to.

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