I will be the first to say it – I hate the madness of Christmas – the movies, commercials, rush, and bustle. I hate the ideas it perpetuates, the lies is spreads, and the way it highlights what so many lack.
This time of a year is a struggle for me. The overarching themes of family, gathering together, festive decorations, and anticipations of Christmas morning leave me feeling empty. And I don’t think I am alone.
For some, coming home for Christmas is not easy or possible. For some, the joy of the season is lost in regret, loss, loneliness, isolation. This is a hard season for a lot of people. People are hurting, feel alone, away from loved ones, in mourning. This is not a time of gifts, togetherness, and unending happiness for all. For some it is a very broken Hallmark moment.
Part of this season is the ability to pretend. Families come together and overlook divisions or the fact they don’t talk the rest of the year. We get dressed up and go to warm homes, drink, laugh, and overindulge in sugar. We give into the themes of wistfulness, expectation, warmth – and yet it is hollow and empty.
Not to be a downer but it has to be said.
Consider this my PSA: A spoonful of compassion, empathy, sensitivity, and some understanding would go a long way.
It is not asking people to be happy and get into the season but asking if there is something you can do, listening, just being with them in their ache. It can be reaching out to those you normally overlook, the person who might be alone, pulling together a new tribe. It can be a dozen things to a dozen different people but it starts with giving space for it to be okay that this joyous season can hurt.
And the honest truth is, I don’t know what would make this season less painful. I don’t know what I would tell someone who asked me what they could do. And that is okay. Sometimes it helps just to know someone else is there.