“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Andy Williams sings these words to us every Christmas season. There are lots of great things about Christmastime. Life has reminded me, that it’s not the most wonderful time for some. They don’t have parents to go home to or children will not be coming home to them. Sometimes, this is because it’s impossible due to death. The loneliness sinks in deeper this time of year. Other times, it’s by choice. Somebody refuses to go home or invite them home, and the regret and missed opportunities are replayed in one’s mind.
When you are busy with activities this time of year, it is easy to overlook a friend or family member for whom it’s not “the most wonderful time of the year”. But is this Christ-like? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4 NIV). We need to step out of our comfort zone and invite that person we care about to share time together. Sometimes, this is just what the doctor ordered. Other times, that person will tell us, “It just brings back too many memories. I prefer to stay at home.” We respect that person and their privacy, but even when an offer is declined that individual appreciates you and I considering him or her.
Also, make the time to listen to someone when they are expressing their holiday blues. Sometimes, giving a person the time to vent and express their hurt and frustration is so helpful. Many times, people suppress their hurts because they feel like they have no one trustworthy to talk to. Hopefully, you and I can be that trustworthy person.
Are you down this time of year? I will share with you some words I call to mind when I am down. My Grandma often says something like this, “I could be down. But then I think about all the good times and memories we have. Then I’m not so down.” If I am missing someone in particular, I try to practice Grandma’s method. Relive that good memory and even though that person is gone, be thankful for that special time together. My mother has instilled in me the words of John Mellencamp, “Oh yeah, life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.” We have our highs and we enjoy those. We have our lows, and frankly we don’t like those. But we keep going anyway. Too many people love and care about us to do otherwise. If you are in a valley, I encourage you to keep going. We love and care about you.
Written by: Jimmy Hodges