Here are thoughts as we get closer to Christmas Day. Remember that not everyone is looking forward to Christmas since they may not have loving and supportive families. Some people have problems during the holidays. Great sadness plague those remembering the loved ones no longer with them. For many, it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one; many others lost loved ones at Christmas time. Many people have no one to spend these times and are lonely. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now. Pray for all those who have family issues, health problems, job struggles, or worries of any kind. They need to know someone cares. Pray for our military families, those who lay terminally ill in hospital beds, those who are in prison, as they are all someone’s son or daughter, spouse, parent or friend too.
I recall breathing a sigh of relief on December 26th. It was over, and I could get back to a “normal” life. When I was a young, single woman, my next concern was not having a date for New Years’ Eve. I’m grateful those days have passed. Now I have more important matters that consume me such as filing taxes. I have stopped making New years resolutions as I am still trying to fulfill the ones I made back in 1995! Instead, I make short and long-term goals. For 2019, I want to become a disciple maker for the Lord Jesus Christ. I will volunteer where I am needed at my church and my community. I will continue to grow my blog followers and offer more personal support to the women in need. Finally, I will give thanks every day to the Lord who created me to do His work and will do it with a loving heart.
It’s that time again. The holidays are upon us. We are being bombarded with commercials to buy new cars, perfume, alcohol, the list goes on. Advertisers are also guilty of showing happy families sitting down for the holiday meal, each nicely dressed and chatting politely. You can almost smell the heavenly food as they politely pass around each dish. I have lived through 57 Thanksgivings and Christmases. Through the years I have spent them with my immediate family, friend’s family, boyfriend’s family, husband’s family, my sister’s family, total strangers on a cruise ship, and completely alone. As we age, the families grow and begin to divide. For those who never had children, holidays become more difficult once our parents pass on and other family members move away or become more distant. Lively neighborhoods bustle with the sounds of family and friends gathering across the street for the celebration we long for with our loved ones.
It has been a myth that suicide rates tend to increase during the holiday season. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. High expectations, money woes, and other holiday hazards can spell trouble for those prone to depression. every where you turn, you’re being told how much you should be enjoying this time of year. You know you should be happy and having fun, but it just isn’t happening.
I remember the first Christmas after my mother had passed away. I was only 24 years old, single and no children. I had an older sister that had three boys living in the same town. That fall, I enrolled in a college class that dealt with holiday depression. I knew it was going to be difficult so I was trying to be pro-active in planning. One of the many things suggested was to plan a vacation. Go some place different. Being as how I lived in the pacific northwest, Christmas season was always cold, wet and dreary. I opted for a cruise to the Bahamas. I worked a second job for eight months just so I could pay for it. I had a wonderful time. It didn’t feel like Christmas day as I laid on the warm white sand with the sound of the ocean and gulls flying above. For four days I was able to escape the traditional holiday and enjoy my first Christmas without family and minimal depression.
As a Christian and an older adult, Christmas means something totally different to me than it once did. I no longer get caught up with all the reckless spending. My husband and I usually splurge and go to a nice restaurant for dinner and then enjoy a quiet evening watching holiday movies. We appreciate the fact we don’t have to deal with family bickering and their Olympics, annoying discussions and tired, unruly children. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and give thanks to Him. What is truly delightful is that when January rolls around, our budget still looks the same as the month before.