You’ve heard this one before… “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” And for me, it truly is. I love Christmas. I love it as much as my wide-eyed, Santa-fixated, six-year-old self. Maybe more. The tree is up and sparkly, there are some mysterious packages under it, I’m consuming panatone and eggnog by the over-stuffed mouthful, and anticipating my annual family viewing of Love, Actually with impish glee! Yes, all is right with the world.
But still, every time I say that familiar phrase, there is a twinge inside that feels a little, well, disingenuous. Alas, I also know, because I have lived long enough, and because I have suffered through life’s unpredictable, and sometimes debilitating challenges, that this time of year can feel like the most awful for many people.
You see, if you’ll forgive me, I’m about to state the obvious... life goes on, even at Christmas. So whatever struggles you had the day before, they likely will persist through the 25th of December. If you’ve suffered a great loss, as my family and I have, with the death of my beloved father less than three weeks ago, then that pain and that sadness will not leave you on the 25th. But! But… you can still find joy, as I intend to. You can still look for the beauty in life, as I try to. You can still experience magic and wonder, laughter and love, hope and merriment.
You might not wake up on Christmas morning to find that all your troubles have been wondrously swept away, but you could find, if you try, if you believe, that your heart is a little lifted, that there is a little more love in the world, and that if you look for it, if you pay attention to the silent night, there is even magic.