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Talking it over - Not always a Merry Christmas

Not always a

'happy' holiday

The signs of Christmas are everywhere. We can hear it in the music and loving wishes, we can see it in the decorations, we can smell it in the delicious Christmas goodies and meals. We can feel it in the air and warmth of friendship during the season. It is pretty hard to avoid feeling something different during this time of year.

For most of us that feeling is of joy, wonder and love. We are lucky to be able to spend it with our loved ones, enjoy good health and the ability to travel to the events we wish to attend. We can relish in the hugs and kisses from the ones we love, we can taste the wonderful treats, and we are often overcome with social events and projects that need to be completed before the holidays.

This is not the case for everyone at Christmas. There are many who find the holiday depressing and lonely. Some are mourning the loss of a loved one. Others are facing dibilitating health concerns. There are those who do not have the mobility or ability to simply get in the car and go to the concerts, programs and services we enjoy so much. The hospitals and nursing homes are filled with people desperately waiting for visits from loved ones and friends. There may be those who are unemployed and struggling to get by. Our soldiers and their families are called upon to spend the holidays thousands of miles apart.

Making their holidays brighter could take such a little bit of time and effort on our part. Perhaps it would just mean sending a card or letter or making a simple phone call. A visit accompanied by a tray of goodies could make their days less long and lonely. An offer to take them along to a service or program could actually brighten their life for several days. And perhaps the best thing of all would be to invite them into your home some time during the holiday. It would give them something to look forward to and talk about with others around them.

Facing a holiday alone or after losing someone you love is very difficult. Words are not always needed in these cases, sometimes just understanding and giving a hug means a great deal. Don't feel that you can not bring up the name of their loved one(s) and how much you miss them as well. It might help to know that others are feeling their loss. And remember there is no 'statute of limitation' on missing someone, especially during the holidays.

As we prepare for the holiday ahead I hope you will take the time to remember those who may not be looking forward to Christmas. Keep them in your prayers, include them in your lives and take the time to understand that not everyone can be happy during the holidays.