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This time of year it’s pretty much expected that you put on a smile and be full of Christmas spirit. Anything less and you’re labeled a Scrooge or a Grinch. Never mind if you actually are stealing anyone else’s ability to enjoy Christmas, the very fact that you aren’t getting in line and putting on a happy face must mean you actively oppose all that Christmas stands for. If you find yourself not so full of cheer this Christmas, I see you. You’re not alone. And let me reaffirm that your lack of cheer does not mean you’re a terrible Christmas hating person.
When it’s Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It’s the most wonderful time of the year we are told. But as much as we may want to agree and celebrate, that cheery greeting can hurt to hear for many who are not having a wonderful time right now.
The fellow church member who just lost his mom to cancer
The mom who faces the third Christmas without her daughter
The couple who longs for a little one to spoil with presents
The sister who is far from family following where the Lord has called her
The wildfire survivor that lost everything but their life
The son who is outcast from his family
The friend who longs to be happy but the depression is so heavy
The family that isn’t sure how they will pay for heat this month, let alone presents
The daughter grieving the loss of both parents this 1st Christmas without either of them
The woman wondering how many more Christmases she’ll be a miss not a mrs.
The parents who’s kids and grandkids never come to visit
The father who watches helplessly as his child is sick, unsure if this will be the last Christmas
The mother facing the first Christmas as a single mom
The reminders of all the loss and pain of Christmas past
All the hurts that are carried throughout the year just hurt a little more at Christmas. The depth of joy contrasting so starkly with the depth of pain, grief, and loss.
Rejoicing and Mourning
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
This verse is often quoted as if it is speaking to a singular person, guiding them on how to handle various situations. But what if it speaks simultaneously to the rejoicer and the mourner?
As we celebrate this time of year, we need to be sensitive and remember those who are hurting. Yet that does not mean we stop celebrating. And likewise as we weep over our losses and pain this time of year, we do not ask those celebrating to stop.
Together we meet one another where we are and remind one another that this too shall pass.
If for you the time is wonderful, savor the joy you have this Christmas so that you can cling to its memory to carry you through when you face hard years.
If this time of year is not so wonderful for you , remember the good years and cling to the hope of good years to come.
But whatever side of wonderful you find yourself on this year, hold close those who are on the other side of it. Rejoicing and mourning together is what draws us close and makes this time of year wonderful.
For more help with managing the Christmas blues:
5 tips for Christmas self-care.
Flower essences for seasonal stresses
Wherever you find yourself this year, Merry Christmas from Shelemah. May your Christmas future be all the brighter.