We race into the store, hoping to find something for that someone on our gift list. We discover an overstock of everything, and the marketers are telling us of what we should purchase. “Pretty paper, pretty bows” are images that come to mind. The exterior image of the illusion that the gift inside is made of love.
The decorations everywhere to charm the spirit into seeing what is a celebration of life and faith. When in truth, it is a celebration of other traditions that have little to do with faith and Jesus’s birth. It is traditions from diverse beliefs from many regions. That is not to say, they do not have importance and value in society. They need to be put into perspective.
How does this make a Blue Christmas? It is the idea that everyone embraces the Holiday Spirit, looking forward to the celebration of trees, charm, and traditions. Many folks have battles, challenges, and losses that are difficult to overcome. The false expectation that everyone can override and continue through these experiences only makes the feeling worse.
I struggle with Blue Christmas. I have been told that I need to celebrate the Holiday, and enjoy it despite my challenges. It hurts, and I have made efforts to adjust my Holiday traditions by adding St. Nicholas Day on December 6th and Hanukkah as I was told as an adult of Jewish linkage in my family history. Despite that, it is the memories of Holidays past that challenge me and I go through the motions.
I have been struggle with the Holiday since the passing of my mother in June 2000 as she loved the time between Thanksgiving and New Years. In reflection, my challenges to the Holiday season are much older. They started as a child who experienced two households and the feeling of being in middle of a battleground with her parents. I learned to embrace the Season of Joy and felt the growth of the silent conflicts. I let myself fell into the seasonal expectations as I knew no difference as a child. As an adult, I see the emptiness of letting yourself see only the stuff and traditions but not the heart and the spirit with it.
How did I get to where I can freely discuss Blue Christmas? I received support of church, community, many friends and family who saw my struggle. They permitted me to go through the challenge of the season. They provided love, support, guidance, time, and presence. Thank you is too little and I’m grateful beyond words.
The season will always be a challenge, but I feel and see love, hope, and courage. I will pass those priceless gifts on to others challenged by the season. I hope you will do the same if you can.
The church is doing a Blue Christmas Service on Sunday, the 16th, at 4 pm. If you are challenged by the Holiday season, please come to the service and trust that people care about your challenges. Thank you for the Blue Christmas Service and those who need it.