Holidays are always cheery and merry, right? I don't know about you, but that's not so much the case for me. As a child of divorce, holidays were always filled with mixed emotions. If I was with my mom, I felt guilty about not being with my dad, and if I was with my dad, I felt guilty about not being with my mom. And then I hated traveling back and forth and trying to please everyone. It's hard and a tough situation for everyone involved even though I love my family very much.
This year is a little different. It will be the first Christmas since my dad passed away this summer. Although we had an estranged relationship for many years and the holidays were always difficult for me, the emotions are hitting me differently this year. I can be fine and moving along just as normal one minute, and then BAM - sadness hits me. Sadness followed by guilt. Guilt of so many things that are/were out of my control.
Most of the time I like to shove my feelings deep down so that I won't have to face them, but I've learned over the years that this is not the best line of defense. I don't think there is anything wrong with feeling sad around the holidays, but I do think it's wrong to dwell in that. Christmas is about so much more. It's about hope. Surely we can shift our focus off the things of this world and onto the precious gift of Jesus.
It may seem so elementary, but I have to remind myself of that often. I have to tell myself to not get so wrapped up in situations and feelings. Christmas is a joyous time no matter what we have going on in our life. It's a time to celebrate and rejoice.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
photo via here