Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Cripples.
Even before the gifts and the friends and family get together, one may be able to sense the pre-Christmas traditions wearing thin. Therefore it makes sense to me that the Holy Father encouraged Vatican lay workers to avoid making Christmas "a feast of commercial consumerism, of appearances or useless gifts... that it might be the feast of the joy of welcoming the Lord in the crib and our hearts."
"This is the real Christmas," Francis said, "the feast of the poverty of God who made himself into nothing, taking the nature of a slave; of God who places himself to serve at table; of God who hides himself from the intelligent and the wise and reveals himself to the small, the simple and the poor; of the 'Son of man who didn't come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.'" - SourceThis is the real focus of pre-Christmas, what we prepare for throughout Advent. This is the cause of our joy. When Christmas arrives, all of the decorating and traditions can finally be put in perspective, the sentimentality and artificial emotional expectations diminished, they too can fade into the background - because nothing compares to Jesus.
I can rejoice in the measure I feel my poverty, my insignificance, my lack of accomplishment, my loneliness, my lack of merit, even my outcast state ... because Jesus is born in abject poverty, a helpless infant, with no place to lay his head, but in a manger. And heaven and earth rejoice.
Merry Christmas! If you are depressed and disappointed - Merry Christmas! You share the lot of the saints in light. You are very close to the Infant Jesus.
The Census at Bethlehem, Pieter Bruegel the Elder