Having Holiday Happiness 2!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates                             Volume 17, Number 12

We would like this opportunity to wish all of our many readers happy holidays and a new year filled with happiness and peace. May the holiday spirit be with you and your family today and throughout the coming year.

        Joel, Jillian, Camille, Stacey, Susan, Julie, Meredith

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The holiday season is here, and it’s a time for Holiday Happiness.

While December is often a demanding month for many people, this holiday season seems to be overly stressful.

But it all depends on the choices we make. We can give in to the stress or we can decide to make this a meaningful holiday time.

Our December E-Letter is about Having Holiday Happiness. It was first published six years ago and updated with minor changes. Dr. Kimmel’s monthly blog is about Holiday Traditions and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the numerous positive and compassionate comments we have received.


The holiday season is often a time of stress and depressed feelings due to unrealistic expectations and excessive demands. Without even mentioning politics or the news, many people suffer from the “holiday blues” as they feel overwhelmed, have memories of past holidays, spend too much, eat too much, and are worried about getting everything done.

This time of the year is often packed with constant activity including holiday parties, visits from family members, traveling, shopping, eating, and drinking. Those of us who have suffered losses find it difficult to watch family-oriented television as they highlight the loss.

For many, the holiday season is a difficult time. But it can also be a time for happiness. The joy of the holidays can be achieved this season as long as one actively pursues it.

There are some simple and basic strategies that if followed will turn the holiday season into a happy time. Some of these strategies include:
       1. Participating in holiday rituals and traditions
       2. Making time for yourself to recharge
       3. Setting realistic expectations and developing optimism and gratitude
       4. Volunteering to help those who are less fortunate
       5. Doing random acts of kindness
       6. Connecting and reflecting upon those who are important in your life

To have holiday happiness, make the choice to actively work to enjoy the holiday season. The rewards can be huge.

We offer the following information on Having Holiday Happiness:


And so this is Christmas…I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one… The old and the young…John Lennon


  • Holiday unhappiness is often caused by too much: family, food, obligations, money spent, and expectations
  • Having a happiness attitude, however, can help deal with holiday stress
  • Deciding to be happy can be quite tricky since days are filled with the stress of shopping, gift giving, parties, sending cards, and having visitors
  • By reframing your thinking, the holidays can be seen as an opportunity for happiness
  • Positive psychologists believe that pursuing happiness will make you feel better and increase your well-being; they suggest that you actively
  • develop optimistic attitudes
  • express gratitude
  • do simple positive activities
  • be mindful in any activity
  • participate in holiday traditions
  • practice acts of kindness
  • Recognize that you have a clear choice:
  • either give in to holiday stress and likely be depressed or
  • enjoy the holiday season


  • Keep your expectations realistic
  • Be optimistic and know that the stressful holiday season will pass
  • Open yourself up and share with others
  • Express gratitude as a sign of appreciation for what you do have
  • Be selfless and practice acts of kindness
  • Maintain relationships since connecting with friends prevents loneliness
  • Exercise and refrain from overindulging in drinking or eating
  • Use relaxation exercises to cope with stress and negativity
  • Be charitable, give to others, and help those less fortunate
  • Shop but do not incur large debt as that will bring anxiety later
  • Set small goals and achieve them
  • Journal and/or take pictures of happy holiday experiences
  • Reach out to those you have lost touch with and are important to you
  • Watch classic holiday movies
  • Develop your own personal holiday tradition that is meaningful to you
  • Seek professional help if you feel depressed and are unable to find any moments of happiness
    Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]
            Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
            5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
            Coral Springs FL 33067

    As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email [email protected] and we will publish them next month.

    Till January 2024…

    The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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    Copyright © 2023 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.