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Blog / / Last Christmas
12/01/2023
Last Christmas
Branko Rosić journalist of Nedeljnik magazine and writer
Last Christmas
You need an accomplice in your post-holiday depression? Melancholy? That’s me. I am your friend and comrade. In the time of pre-New Year's euphoria, I wrote about a part of Michel Houellebecq's book ’Serotonin’, where the great Frenchman traditionally tackles the depression of modern man. And in the book, the therapist tells the patient that the main thing is to get through the first of January, and that everything after that is easier. That is the point of many therapists, not just this one from the book.

On the ’Unbreakable’ web-page, where the Hemofarm Foundation helps people overcome depression, and together with the Faculty of Philosophy prepare well-known ’A Cup of Coffee with a Psychologist’ there was a phone number for help before and during the holidays. For those who face loneliness during holidays. Because holidays can make loneliness and depression show their ugliest face.

Whether alone or in a relationship, I always loved the holidays and the melancholy (I don't have depression) would start at the very end of the holidays. When I was supposed to return to regular rhythm and remove the decorations from the Christmas tree. And then, this year, I thought about those effects of holidays on the soul.

Growing up under socialism, I felt depressed as a little boy when the national flags were taken down from the building across the street because it meant the end of the holidays. And now, as a decidedly immature person, the end of holidays is killing me.

On the morning when they took down the Christmas tree from the square in Budapest recently, I felt a chill even though there were still a few days left until the end of the holidays. There are lonely people for whom the office is the first sedative from the life's ’first aid kit’. Those airbags from the crash of loneliness and pointlessness. And it's a break from the routine which is somehow comforting.

The other type of people, who love holidays, also love routine. Presents at the same time of the year, hypermarkets with decorated trees, a playlist of New Year and Christmas songs. You constantly strive for one and the same routine and its retreating breaks you down. I have sensors for end-of-holiday melancholy.

Every year I watch George Michael's ‘Last Christmas’ video and feel every segment of the holiday in those few minutes. That euphoria of the beginning when they arrive by funicular and get ready in that idyllic house in the mountains. Firewood is brought in, dinner or lunch is prepared, followed by a nap by the fire. And that cycle is good while you are ‘ascending’. As soon as the climax comes, it will pass quickly.

For the character played by George Michael, that video is a story about the end of a love relationship since last Christmas, and for me it's like the end of the holidays. That's why, when Rolex appears at the end of the television broadcast of the New Year's concert, every year, as by command, comes the awareness that the holidays are about to end even though it seemed only a day before that they never would, and that's the feeling for all of us who don't have the strength to take down decorations from the Christmas tree until the end of January.
AUTHOR
Branko Rosić
journalist of Nedeljnik magazine and writer