‘Tis the season for insane shopping, endless parties, kid’s programs and Christmas pageants. It’s no wonder some people find themselves fresh out holiday spirit. If you add financial pressures like a layoff or unexpected expense (like a car suddenly refusing to start. Mine turned into a big paperweight in the garage overnight for some inexplicable reason!) the “Christmas Blues” can start to multiply. Maybe you’ve experienced a big change in your life over the last year. Maybe you had to move away from friends and family or the last kid left home. Perhaps you got divorced or suffered the loss of someone dear to you.
Whatever the reason, you may be tempted to look back at previous Christmases and wish you could turn back the clock. Something has happened to alter your expectations and this year Christmas looks bleak. Life will never be the same.
You’re right. Life never will be the same. Because you’ll never be the same. We are the product of our experiences, the people we surround ourselves with, the books we read and the thoughts we think. Change is the only constant. The old saying, “You can’t step twice into the same stream” is so true.
So do we have to resign ourselves to the idea that life will never be the same? Yes, but that’s ok. Life may never be the same, but I also believe it can be better.
Whatever your situation, I’m hoping to remind you that what “is” will not always “be.” My dogs are always so despondent when we leave them and so overjoyed when we return. Unfortunately, they can’t imagine beyond ‘now,’ and can’t comfort themselves with the idea that they won’t be shut up in their very cushy little crates forever.
But people are not dogs. We know “this too shall pass.” If you’re experiencing Christmas blues, let me assure you that whatever your situation is, it isn’t forever. Lest you think I’m being pollyannish, let me just share that I’ve had Christmases where the budget was so tight my DH and I had to sell our class rings in order to buy presents for our kids. Presents for each other were out of the question. Then there was a Christmas when we were both unemployed, and I so believed we’d have jobs by December the 25th. It didn’t happen. On December 26th, we still didn’t have jobs. In 2008, I spent Christmas recovering from cancer surgery (Three years clean and counting. Thank you, God!)
Sometimes things happen beyond my control. At times like that, I focus on the only thing I can control–my attitude. I try to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the people in my life, for the things I have, for the health I enjoy. It really does help.
If you’re struggling this Christmas, please know that you’re not alone. Someone cares and I’m not just talking about me. I’m talking about Someone with a big old capital S. God cares and I hope your faith will help you through whatever you’re experiencing.
Chin up, my friend. This blue Christmas will pass.