I’m not sure where December went, seems to have flown by quicker than Santa, but just in case you weren’t counting, there’s only six days until Christmas!
The scramble is on to finish up shopping, wrapping, season’s greetings and preparations for the big day. All of which can cause stress and anxiety which kind of take over the whole meaning of the season.
And if it isn’t the hustle and bustle that’s got you Grinched up over the season, Christmas can also be a tearful reminder for many of us of what we’re missing this time of year.
Christmas is supposed to be filled with love and joy, unfortunately quite the opposite can occur for many.
Perhaps a loved one is no longer around to share the season with, or family disputes have shadowed the true meaning of Christmas. Family dynamics change, relationships are broken, friends come and go, problems and illness persist and God’s plan can often seem unfair.
Any number of such scenarios can make for a rather blue Christmas.
So while others are cheerfully celebrating all the season has to offer, it is a sad reminder for others of what they are missing. In turn, they are left searching for a glimmer of hope over the holidays.
For some, associations with Scrooge become all too apparent. But it’s far too easy to say, ‘bahumbug,’ and shrug off Christmas as nothing more than an over-commercialized shopping frenzy. As we all know, there is a lot more to Christmas than gift giving.
Others fake it through the entire holidays. Perhaps enjoying a little too much Christmas cheer to drown their sorrows.
Despite our sadness, this is a time to find thanks for all we do have and celebrate it.
To help those feeling desolate, Trinity United Church is hosting a Blue Christmas service tomorrow (Saturday) at 2:30 p.m. It aims to allow those hurting this season a place to feel their sadness and know that they are not alone. Words of courage, strength and hope will be shared to hopefully bring some joy to those who need it most this season.
It is also a stark reminder that sorrow and joy live together. Nothing highlights that more than this time of year.
You may look around and see an empty home following a break-up, a lonely holiday following the death of a loved one, or a bare Christmas during a tough financial time. But it is also a chance to find/discover/renew hope.
Just as life continues, so does the season. It does not stop for us, the spirit is alive and well.
And there are countless places to find it.
In the eyes of young children, in the memories of our elders, in the actions of others (Together for Christmas and all that is being done to assist the Upper Room Mission are just a few local examples) and in the words of those around us.
Despite all that may be turning your world upside down, there is hope in Christmas.
There’s one song that kind of says it all: Let It Be Christmas, by Alan Jackson.
“Let it be Christmas everywhere…
Feel the love of the season wherever you are…
Let every heart sing, let every bell ring, the story of hope and joy and peace…
Let anger and fear and hate disappear,
Let there be love that lasts through the year…”