Yes, I definitely understand how the season can bring forth melancholic feelings.
I personally no longer celebrate Christmas either, in the sense of gathering for gift exchanges with friends and family. My husband works retail, and we have not traveled to be with family for Thanksgiving or Christmas over the past seven years since he works both the day before and the day after these holidays. However, not traveling to see family for Christmas is fine by me. Even though I do love my parents, getting together with family at Christmas always ended with me being depressed--but that is due to the dynamics in my family and my in-law's family. I was adopted right before I started elementary school, and I've always felt like I'm on the outside looking in and don't really belong--at least not equally, despite being assured otherwise. As far as my in-laws, they have always counted drops of blood, so to speak, in determining just "how" related family members are to them, so it was clear that I was not "really" family to them at all and never really would be, no matter what. It is painful for me to observe the relationships of those around me during Christmas-time gatherings and to feel like I'm just an observer and not a partaker. There have also been some rifts in my family and in my husband's family in the past decade that have left me feeling even more alienated.
My husband and I just go out to eat on Christmas Eve and have a quiet day together on Christmas Day. We don't even do presents for each other anymore, but that is mainly because we haven't been able to afford them in recent years. We also sold our Christmas tree and gave away our lighted garlands to The Salvation Army when we moved into our smaller apartment this past summer, so we don't have Christmas decorations either.
I used to be a Christian but am now an unwilling agnostic (I say "unwilling" because my faith slipped away despite the fact that I tried desperately to cling to it).
Anyway, despite all this, I do love Christmas because the season signifies to me a hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a better tomorrow is what motivates and drives all of humankind, no matter what their philosophy or religion may be.
Christmas is also a time for remembrances--even of darker times. These remembrances of both darker times and happier times helps us realize that life is an ongoing cycle of ups and downs. And we should never lose sight of our mountaintop experiences when we are in the valley. There is always hope of climbing back up for at least one more thrilling view of this amazing, yet fragile thing we call life.
Encouraging others who are falling into melancholy helps us keep our chins up and reminds us that there will always be hope for happier times! Since this is a time of year when so many are drifting into melancholic nostalgia, that is all the more reason to reach out to others who are going through a rough patch to give them a warm nudge of encouragement. It's hard to remain depressed when you are focused on trying to elicit a smile from and a spark of hope in a fellow human being who is also down. Just remember that we are all in this thing called life together, that we share the same vulnerabilities, that we share many more similarities than we do differences, and that we are both better and stronger by reaching out to others anytime we are feeling down.