The holiday season is upon us!


And by “the holiday season,” I’m including not just Christmas but all the other traditional holidays—Hanukkah, Kwanza, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Yaldi, etc—celebrated at this time of year. Heck, even if your holiday of choice is Black Friday!


In my recent Psychology Today article Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays, I explore the question, “What is “the true meaning” of the holiday season?”


Maybe your answer comes from your religious tradition: “It’s to celebrate the god of beginnings, Ganesha” or “It’s to celebrate the birth of the son of God, Jesus Christ.” Maybe you connect the holidays with “the banishing of winter darkness through the light.” Or maybe you learned the “true meaning” of the season from more secular sources.


In everything from Good Housekeeping to Coca Cola commercials, you’ll hear that it’s about loving mankind, generosity, goodwill and peace on earth. Even musicians like TobyMac weigh in on this “true meaning” issue: “I think Christmas is about celebration and come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance!”


I don’t believe that the holiday season has its own specific, intrinsic, unalterable meaning. For me, the important question is: What is the true meaning of the holiday season for you? And is your “true meaning” empowering you and getting you what you want?


For my newest Psychology Today post, click here:



Dr Matt