Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Everyone! These are the greetings we give to each other during this significant season. It brings with it all the feels of fun, family, and giving gifts to our loved ones and those we hold dear. People seem to be a little kinder, more generous and more benevolent. These are all wonderful signs of this time of the year. I love it when I can really get into the Christmas spirit.
Isn’t It fun to celebrate the “Jolly” of the holidays? For those feeling this way, it's wonderful! It truly feels like the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s celebrate. Let’s be joyous and festive and whoop it upright. Warm family gatherings around the Christmas tree, new memories to be made, favorite foods to be eaten, and gifts to be given. Lots to look forward to.
This year, too many people I care about are not having that wonderful experience but hold back from talking about it for fear of sounding like a Grinch and bringing others down. Today, I want to talk about that. I want to honor the ones who are not experiencing that energy. Folks to whom it would almost seem odd to say Happy and Merry in your greeting, when you know they won’t be either. Today, I want to say let’s see those people this Christmas. Let’s remember them, buy them a little something, cook them something special or just sit with them a bit. Whatever they may be going through, be it pain, sorrow, depression, loneliness or loss. We have the power to be a little bright light to them. Remember the Christmas Spirit is not just a happy and joyous one (and thank God for those of us for whom it will be). It is also a quiet, calm, somber and still and reflective one too. We can see and validate all the different ways people are experiencing them.
When we understand the reason for the season, it can take on a new meaning. A deeper, more grounding and pensive moment. The Lord came to earth for the good of mankind: to restore, to redeem, to bring peace and dignity for all. It was his love for us that made him give himself to the world. This was and is the gift, the true gift of Christmas. It’s the reason we celebrate and give presents to others as well. When someone is not feeling festive, we can help make space for that too. So that they can be ok with it as well. There is a wonderful rest and a simplicity in that silent night, holy night of Christmas . We can help them know it’s okay to feel whatever way they are feeling. They don’t have to put on a jolly face or be afraid to let people know they feel low. There is room for it all. There is room for us all. We can be happy and celebrate with those who are happy and we can be kind and humble with those who are not. In all our gift giving this year, I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of seeing each other. I think it’s a tragedy to feel unseen. We can make a difference for someone else in this season. The Lord’s life was all about giving, giving of oneself to another. His good gift toward mankind, as many of the old Christmas songs say. Let’s imitate The way of Christ with the gift of genuinely seeing people, of honoring them, regardless of where they find themselves this Christmas. Now that’s a true and unique gift!
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, cry with those who cry…Humble yourselves…” - Romans 12;15-18
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward mankind with whom he is pleased.“ - Luke 2:14
Regina Stafford, BCC