Christmas in Whistler can be a stressful time for many, like
the far-from-home seasonal workers. They may be surrounded by new-found friends
and co-workers but missing the holiday traditions with which they grew up.
For those who may find the holiday season a tough time of year,
several churches in Vancouver offer a Blue Christmas service. Canadian Memorial
United Church offers a blue service for “those who are weighed down by the
unrealistic expectations of the season.” Located at West 15
Burrard in Vancouver, the one-hour service this Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m.
includes prayers, meditation, music and candle-lighting, followed by
Originally designed for people grieving a death, it now
includes those who have suffered any kind of loss or are just overwhelmed by
holidays, a church spokesperson said.
Mount Seymour United Church in North Vancouver will also
provide an It’s Hard to Be Merry service on Monday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. Eight
Anglican churches in Vancouver will offer similar blue services over the next
Canadian Mental Health Association says Christmas can be difficult for those with few family connections or support systems. “Holiday angst hits all of us — it’s just a matter of how much and for how long it impacts our lives,” says Bev Gutray, the head of CMHA’s B.C. division, in a press release.
Statistics show mothers have the highest level of stress
during the holiday and CMHA says single people fare better than married. While
40 per cent of married people report higher stress levels, only 37 per cent of
single people report the same, the association says, quoting a study of 1,000
adults conducted in November of 2000 by American research firm Wirthlin
Worldwide for ucomics.com.
CMHA recommends these coping strategies for dealing with