"The holidays," says Dr. Steven Berglas, a psychiatrist, executive coach, consultant and author, "are depressing."I called Berglas to talk about holiday stress because, after all, \u2019tis the season, and because our cover story, "A Season on the Brink" (Page 62) by Senior Writer Meridith Levinson, focuses on the stress department stores have been under as they\u2019ve tried (and, for the past few years, failed) to meet the holiday-season profit goals upon which their whole year\u2019s success depends.But Berglas asserted that stress is a misnomer for what we experience over the holidays."It\u2019s not about stress," he told me. "Some New York Times writer once called it holiday stress, and we\u2019ve been running around talking about stress ever since. The truth is, we\u2019re not stressed; we\u2019re depressed. And for good reason. It\u2019s a depressing season." (Berglas makes his CIO debut on Page 42 with "Serenity Found," a column about the difference between burnout and stress.)Some of the reasons Berglas ticked off for why the holiday season is particularly depressing include the winter\u2019s failing light ("Every culture celebrates the winter solstice by lighting lights. Why? Because darkness is depressing."); the cold ("In the cold you hunch your shoulders. That causes you to contract your trapezius muscles. That gives you a pain in the neck."); advertising ("It tells you you should be happy\u2014going around singing \u2018Jingle Bells\u2019\u2014but you\u2019re not, so you wonder, \u2018What\u2019s wrong with me?\u2019"); and the grief that comes with end-of-year introspection ("Another year gone and I\u2019m not where I want to be. Why aren\u2019t I doing better?").Of course, not every reason why the holidays are hard for many of us is internal or can be ascribed to seasonal affective disorder. This is the time of year when many businesses have to make their nut. Not just in retail (although that\u2019s the most obvious example) but in all enterprises whose fiscal year syncs up with the calendar.Our cover story reports on how two large department stores are using IT to reverse the depressing trend of falling holiday sales, but technology can do only so much for us as individuals. In fact, thanks to laptops, PDAs and their ilk, IT is making it easier for us to take our work with us on vacation. Some vacation.So what is Dr. Berglas\u2019s prescription for fighting holiday depression?If we get depressed in part because our expectations are high, lower them. "Let\u2019s admit that it\u2019s a depressing time," says Berglas. "Let\u2019s forget Hallmark and tell the truth."And, to avoid hunching your shoulders and giving yourself a pain in the neck, remember Mom\u2019s advice: Don\u2019t forget your scarf.