mangerHolidays…for most, they are a happy, joyful time. For some, not so much.

When I think back on my childhood, each Christmas Eve in our neighborhood, there were about five or so families who would gather at each other’s homes. Everyone walked…usually. Same with New Year’s Eve.

As a child, I sort of recall it being a blast, hanging with the other kids, doing whatever we did. (Memory fails me as to what that was). I just remember those days as being quite festive. But, I also remember there was a whole lot of drinking…adults, people, adults. And, for me it got pretty loud and obnoxious. I do recall one Christmas Eve where our house nearly burned down as someone was too inebriated and left a cigarette butt in the couch and it caught fire. Maybe that is why I blocked it out.

Today–many things have changed.

For instance: Families seemed to be in one geographical area, or at least less than an hour away. Yes, maybe those married had to share with in-laws the time spent each holiday. But all still came around. Now, I don’t see that as much. I’m certain I would, within social media postings.

Then there are us baby-boomers. Most of our parents are celebrating in the heavenly realms. Some of us have lost siblings, best friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Someone we loved and miss dearly.

As a baby-boomer, my youngest son lives miles away and we usually see him and his family after Christmas, some years, not at all. It is something I have accepted and look forward to whatever scheduled time we get to be together.

Changed? I’d say so.

For me, I get melancholy. Even depressed during this season…and sometimes forget the reason for the season. I miss those I love who are no longer here. I miss Christmas morning when the hustle and bustle of charging to the Christmas tree with excitement to see what was under in all the colorful wrappings. To see the enjoyment in children’s eyes filled with surprise. I miss that. I miss my sissy’s too who are miles away in another state.

It’s a sad time, for many. What can we do to ease the pain in our hearts and the sadness?

This year, I’ve been listening to old and new Christmas songs. I still love artists such as Johnny Mathis, Brenda Lee and Elvis’ Christmas music. And I dance around to songs by Mariah Carey or Michael Bublé and others. It cheers me up. Mostly, I watch a ton of Hallmark Christmas movies. Uplifting and even cheesy. But I love them!

Christmas Eve service brings me back to the reason for the season. It’s Happy Birthday, Jesus time. It’s calming and real. Attending River City Christian is a special time.

I encourage anyone who is feeling down this holiday, to find joy in the little things life has to offer. Whether it be music…of any kind, lunching with friends (I’m a professional luncher), watching sappy movies or action-packed movies…whatever you need to do, to take your mind off your sorrow. Will you choose joy with me?

I wish you all a blessed, joyful Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year and that you will draw near to Jesus in your time of need. He’s waiting for you.

Psalm 21:6  Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

The reason for the season: Luke 8:12