Family Holiday Hangover?

Couple fightingWikipedia describes a hangover as “the sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages.”  Maybe you and your family are suffering from a holiday hangover without ever having imbibed some spiked holiday eggnog!  See if your family has a holiday hangover based upon the following symptoms.

  • Do family members have headaches from members grumbling about resuming responsibilities?
  • Are family members nauseated over conflicts about how much Wii time each person gets?
  • Are family members lethargic and hard to get out of bed in the morning?
  • Are family members sensitive to the noise of loud arguments?

A family holiday hangover could be described as “the sum of unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption period.”   By this I mean, we can easily slip into modes of heavy consumption indicating our self-absorption over the holidays.  We get focused on gifts, goodies, games, and the glamour of the holidays.  Before long we expect all of life to be about entertaining me.  The holidays have “hung-over” into day to day life.

Why is it that vacation and holidays are so hyped up but often fail to live up to the hype?  If your family is like mine, my natural tendency is to view holidays and vacations as the time to think about me!  Every individual in the family is thinking “this is my time to think about me.”  No wonder there are problems (James 3:16)!  And if this attitude is left unchecked the effects hang over into the New Year.

What’s the cure for a family holiday hangover?  Sobering up!  Below are the steps.

  • Thank the Lord for all the good times experienced over the holidays.
  • Have a family chat about God’s purpose for each family member—to love God and others, not myself.
  • Re-establish helpful routines of work, play, sleep, and school.
  • Return to faithful involvement in church body life (worship, fellowshipservice, and Bible study)
  • Today seek to focus on somebody else rather than yourself.
  • Take small steps today to accomplish your goals for this year.

Let’s all have a sober New Year and, in more ways than one, avoid any hangovers!  I’d love to hear comments about helpful ways you and your family are getting over the hangover.

Brent Aucoin
Pastor Brent Aucoin serves as the Pastor of Seminary and Counseling Ministries at Faith Church. He is the president of Faith Bible Seminary, and is a counselor and instructor for Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.