“Christmas makes me sad, ” one of my colleagues said in passing this week.
Sad was a theme for me in 2015, so her comment caught my attention.
My head jerked up from what I was working on and I listened to what she had to say.
“I still put up the tree and decorate. You know, for the kids.”
“Me too.” I said.
We were speaking with a younger lady who is still a starry-eyed romantic like we used to be. I hope she never loses that magic, because once you lose it, you can’t get it back the same way.
Loss during the holidays spreads a pall over the joy of the season. Loss as in a you’ve experienced the death of a loved one during the holidays, you’ve experienced another type of loss during the year (relationship, job, ability).
As you get older, there tend to be more people and more things to miss. There are deeper elements of life to reflect upon, and joy comes less and less from what is under the tree than from the quiet moments you get to spend with people you love.
When I was a child, the season of Advent was not a spiritual experience. It was a season of ribbon candy, clementines, chocolate galore and lots of toys. As a young woman, it was a season of party dresses, romance and giddy fun. As a middle-aged woman, I realize the meaning behind the season of Advent; living in darkness, anticipation and mystery, meditation, and the cultivation of patience.
For those who find the Christmas season emotionally challenging, please try and remember that you are not alone. Our silver-bell-and-city-sidewalk-smiles hide a multitude of sadness.
For those who still find Christmas deliriously happy, don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm. We love it, and are happy knowing that although we may bring peace and love to the season, there are others who bear the burden of bringing the joy.
Wishing you peace this Christmas. Wishing you love. Wishing you the joy of friendship, romance and the thrill of experiencing some of life’s unfolding mystery.