What if you are not merry at Christmas?
For so many people, the holiday season is not a time to celebrate. It is a lonely time. It is a sad time. January can’t come fast enough.
Not a very joyous Noel.
Before you label these folks as “Scrooge”, look beneath the surface. While some gather with families and open presents and enjoy partying, others are alone, are mourning the loss of a loved one or are otherwise hurting.
While I hope to be very careful so as not to minimize the pain of so many people, I also hope to offer some advice for those of you who are sad during the holidays.
Look around. It has been said, the best way to heal is to help someone else who is hurting. As much as you may be hurting, there is someone who would appreciate you as a friend. Many senior citizens are very alone. Organizations exist that help families of those who are incarcerated. Hospitals, rehab centers homeless shelters and soup kitchens are full of hurting people. Serving these folks is a great way to gain focus. If you look at the pain of someone else, yours may be put into perspective.
Connect with others. Alone for the holidays is not healthy. College students who can’t go home should get together. Expatriates should unite wherever they are. Even people stuck in airports have the opportunity to make something special of a bad situation. You can reach out: A single parent or an immigrant neighbor who does not understand the culture may appreciate your goodwill gesture. Connect with someone on the holiday.
Focus on the spiritual aspects. It is so easy to get trapped in the hype of the season. It seems like a lot of fun, until reality sets in. The truth is, no amount of shopping or partying can fix a broken heart. Only God can do that. That really is the idea behind Christmas. God sent His Son Jesus to be the Savior of the world. He became a human so He could identify with the pain of humanity and heal that pain. The Bible says, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” (Matthew 1:23) Choosing to focus on the reason for Christmas should result in an increased awareness of God’s love for you. You are not alone for the holidays, or ever.
Do whatever is necessary to experience genuine joy at Christmas. I truly wish you a blessed and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas to you.