Not everyone enjoys Christmas time. Everything is geared towards happy, happy, happy and spending money of course to add to our happiness. Life is complicated these days, apart from anything else. Blended families often make Christmas difficult with who goes where. Children have divided loyalties and things can become awkward. Many who have faced a crisis or the heartbreak of losing someone close, struggle at Christmas.
I remember the first Christmas without Scott was just so hard. I thought I would never celebrate Christmas again. A dear friend obviously seeing my struggle and lack of motivation said, “I will come and help you put up your Christmas tree.” I am so glad she did. It helped knowing someone cared enough. We were given a Christmas cake too and by accepting the caring it started my journey of not giving up on Christmas!
We still had children and grandchildren who needed very much to enjoy the hope and magic of Christmas. That did spur me on to make an effort. For the first few years it was for the children, but gradually, eight years on, Christmas has become more joyful. I enjoy adding to the decorations and making our home festive and full of love. A good memory making experience.
We have name tags hanging on our tree of our significant people who are missing. We include them in our thoughts and conversations as we celebrate Christmas. They are still part of our family, even though we can’t see them. We still feel the loss of our loved ones keenly. But we have adapted to the different family dynamics.
I now am more aware of others suffering at Christmas and so I like to help a bit – children and families in the social services, prisoners’ children (The angel tree in the Manawatu) and Women’s Refuge. A little kindness can go a long way to give those recipients hope to hang on to. It is saying, “We care about you.” Our little grandchildren tell me at kindy that they learn, “Sharing is caring!” And that pretty much sums it up for me.
If you are struggling to cope with whatever life has thrown at you, and you live locally, come to our Blue Christmas service. There are others who are further on in their journey and can offer caring and comfort which does help. We are never alone.
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love becomes part of us.”
– Helen Keller