Time Essay: Get This Season off the Couch!

They begin turning up this time of year as reliably as gaudy lights and the Salvation Army, and with furrowed brows they hand the public a unique gift—clear warnings about the morbid hazards that lurk in the traditional seasonal celebrations. They are the jolly diagnosticians, and they dirge forth chanting their own anthem, a sort of Fugue for Handwringers, the gist of which is that there may be poisoned plums in the pudding.

The holidays, they say, and especially Christmas, inflame neurosis, trigger depression, accentuate loneliness. The very expectation of joy becomes a source of gloom. Adults get pressured into...

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