I love Christmas. Even though Christmas isn’t filled with the joy it once was and there is a cloud of sadness that hovers over me at this time of year, I still manage to find the joy and wonder of this holiday. My grandmother always made Christmas special for us and when she died (just a few weeks before Christmas) we had a hard time figuring out what new traditions and memories we would make.
It’s also this time of year that we begin to assess the year that is disappearing behind us. There were ups and downs and the difficulties that come with being an adult to reflect upon. The bad decisions, the lost friendships and missed opportunities take their place among the triumphs and successes that keep us going.
I guess I also take the time to be a little sad this time of year. I think it’s ok to acknowledge the loss I feel around the holiday. It reminds me that although there is loss and sadness, there is a great happiness and gratitude I feel for my many blessings. As with everything with the good comes the bad, and Christmas is no different.
My tendency to disappear into a hazy rose-colored view of Christmas Past brings me an odd comfort. Though I may miss family (how family used to be, not the torn apart dysfunctional mess we’ve become), home and hearth I find new traditions and new things to bring me a new love for Christmas.
I mourn the loss of Christmas Past, but I revel in the simple things that make this holiday bright. The tree in the den with its homemade ornaments and big lightbulbs, the smell of Christmas cooking and seeing friends that, as we grow older, see the same bittersweet nostalgia in each other’s eyes.
This is also a time I find my Faith strongest. The miracle of the birth of my Lord is an amazing reminder to honor Him and lift your spirits. I find solace in my Faith during Christmas. Our Christmases were always centered around our Faith and my desire to be in a Church this time of year is as strong as my need to breathe. There’s a comfort that Faith can bring during a time of sadness that no other drug, pep talk or exercise can bring. If you’re feeling low this time of year, go sit at the foot of the cross and as my grandmother would say, “Give it to God.”