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Volunteering Isn't Enough to Brighten Holiday Blues

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a wonderful life and much to be thankful for, but we have no children and are usually alone on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone makes such a fuss about sharing these holidays with loved ones, but I become depressed during this season.

I do volunteer work on these holidays, but still feel sad and like everyone else in the country is having a better time than I am. Any suggestions? -- NOT SO JOLLY IN ARIZONA

DEAR NOT SO JOLLY: You must be a new reader of my column or you would know that every year around holiday time I receive letters from people like you, expressing that rather than feeling joyful and elated, they feel depressed and deprived. Some of it may be the result of the incessant marketing of these holidays, which gives the impression that "everyone" is having a grand old time sipping cider, stuffing themselves with turkey and caroling under the windows of their neighbors.

An antidote for your holiday blues might be to do more than volunteer. Why don't you and your husband plan to do something special to treat yourselves, rather than stay home feeling like everyone else is enjoying themselves? Choose a different destination each year to visit and learn about.

Or invite some friends or acquaintances to join you at home. There's a saying that misery loves company, and in your case, company might be the solution to the problem.

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