Only I’m not a holiday person. My parents eloped and haven’t been cool with a special occasion since. They would rather see their offspring any day of the year which does not fall on a holiday, birthday, or other special commemorative occasion. So I admit that the whole December freak-out thing misses me. Occasionally other people get me thoughtful gifts and I appreciate them. But mostly I enjoy the decorations and the eating a lot.
Many people believe that suicide rates climb through the roof during the Winter Solstice, Xmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, etc. season. Countless serious psychological studies and demographics analyses have entirely debunked the notion that suicides go up during Christmas. In point of fact, on average, fewer people either commit suicide or attempt suicide (parasuicide is the bonus vocabulary word of the day!) around the December 24 and December 25 dates and the month surrounding them.
The faulty theory is that lonely people are made more aware of their loneliness during a time of year when others can be visibly seen getting their connectedness groove on. There is also the Seasonal Affective Disorder concept that those afflicted with SAD (Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!) are more, uhm, sad during the less sunny months. Unless they get high end tanning beds under the tree.
The reality of Christmas suicide is that people socialize more in December. They eat more delicious food in December. They deny themselves less in December. They reach out and connect with their fellow man better in December. So they may be more stressed, but they are less depressed and kill themselves less often in December.
New Years, on the other hand, is a whole nother ball o’ death. Many studies have found a significant uptick in suicides and parasuicides as people ring in the New Year. I know I like to use the New Year as an opportunity for reflection and resolution, so maybe some people don’t like what they reflect on. Of course, more people kill themselves at the beginning of the workweek than on the weekends, so January 1 suicides may just be about the horror of having to go back to work.
At any rate, you can relax about Xmas because New Years Eve is actually the day you have to worry about. Aren’t you glad to get to procrastinate your self-harm another week? This will give you more time for shopping. I know I’m thinking about going to the Beverly Center mall and checking out Hunky Santa and the acrobat Xmas sluts later today.