The holiday season seems to bring equal parts joy and sorrow, it seems. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster this week. I rode the emotional wave between one family’s utter joy in the birth of their daughter, and two families who lost dear loved ones, all within three days of each other, and all the week before Christmas. At the same time, my family “celebrated” five years without a loved one of our own this week.
My heart is equally bursting for the little life who has entered our world, and torn for the two who are no longer here. I know my experience is not unique, and many people have mixed feelings about this time of year. It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” and yet it’s not, for a lot of people. Those who didn’t lose someone this week but lost someone this year are experiencing the first Christmas without that loved one. There are countless others separated from their family in other ways, and this can be an exceptionally difficult time for them, too.
I’m not writing all this to bum you out on Christmas. I wanted to add some perspective and raise awareness that joy can be hard to come by for a lot of people today. If you’re in (what feels like) the minority of people who are completely joyous today, give those around you an extra hug and give a little thanks for your blessings. Once the kids have opened their gifts and you’re sitting there with your coffee enjoying the calm hubbub of the morning, take a moment to reach out to someone who may not have what you have, and tell them you care.
If you go out today, be kind to those you meet. Today might be their hardest day.
From my family to yours, I wish your family a merry, joyful, peaceful, and laughter-filled Christmas. If you’re reading this, I’m thankful for you.