Christmas is a wonderful time of year, filled with so
much joy and happiness. Everyone is attending parties, shopping for gifts,
making plans to visit friends and relatives, and generally just trying to
keep up with the hectic pace of the holiday season. However, no matter how
happy we are or how much we enjoy the Christmas festivities, most of will
experience a few sad moments at this time of year as well. Perhaps it will
be as you are gazing out the window into the clear night, watching the
crisp snow falling to the ground. With Christmas carols playing in the
background, you fall into a trance and your mind wanders to those special
people who are no longer part of your life, or to some other personal or
family crisis that you are experiencing...and you wonder, "How can
Christmas ever be the same ?"
We have all endured pain and suffering. It is as much a
part of human life as happiness and joy. Without suffering, we wouldnít
know what it means to be truly happy. Yet, with every serious setback in
life, it becomes increasingly difficult to get through the season of
Christmas without feeling for your loss and without shedding a tear or
two. Few of us ever get through the Christmas holiday season without
asking that numbing question, "How can Christmas ever be the
It is especially difficult with certain traditions
associated with those loved ones that you cherished who are no longer a
part of your life. Whether your loss was caused by death, divorce, a
family member moving to another place, or for any one of numerous other
reasons, the feeling is still the same. You miss that person and for a
moment wish that you could shut out the sights and sounds of Christmas.
After all, how can you have so much fun without the people who are no
longer part of your life?
Whenever you find yourself feeling like this, allow the
memories to come flooding in. Allow the good thoughts to fill your head
and bring you once again to a state of joy. Instead of feeling down,
wondering how things will ever be the same without your loved ones, do
your best to recall those important traditions and memories and remember
the good times you had with them.
This is also the time of year when a simple smile, a
touch on the shoulder, holding hands briefly, a sincere compliment or even
a little note of appreciation or recognition can mean the world to those
you meet, especially strangers. Reaching out to show that you care and
understand how someone else feels is so much easier during the Christmas
season because of the overall atmosphere and festive spirit. As you
discover the warmth that comes from sharing your love with everyone you
meet, you will begin to realize that the memories you have of lost loved
ones are cherished more than ever, and instead of making you feel sad,
those memories will lift your spirits.
We canít escape from the fact that things change in
our life as we grow older. Some for the good, and some not so good. For
obvious reasons, it is usually during the Christmas holiday season that we
realize how much things have changed in our life. This year, donít try
to suppress the memories of years gone by. Allow them to make this the
best Christmas ever.
So as you go about your activities this Christmas
season, take time to enjoy all of the great traditions that have been a
part of your life for so many years. Allow time to recall the memories of
years gone by so your loved ones will remain part of the festivities, even
if they are no longer around. You will find that they can still add a
great deal to your holiday, even if they are only here in spirit. And as
you reflect upon those memories, allow them to give you the motivation and
inspiration to move forward into a new chapter of your life next year.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Centennial Year in 2004 from
the staff of Valley East Today!