Christmas is my favorite time of year. It is full of rich tradition, and as we all grow up we continue to build upon the traditions that have been passed down through the years. I love the spirit this time of year brings; the spirit of charity, celebration, family, peace, and joy. But for many this is a very difficult time of year. A season of depression as memories of broken families, absent spouses or children, and loss of loved ones flood the soul of the hurting. It’s hard to celebrate with joy and peace when one’s heart is troubled and broken. The sounds and sights of Christmas become a piercing siren of torment and the bitterness of a humbug spirit darkens the brilliance of the seasons light. Loneliness seems to be the only option to those who are vexed by such inner hostility in a time meant for solidarity.
Christmas is a season to make memories you want to remember.
How can we change the hopeless heart into one laden with cheer? Here are a few tips that may help:
1. Go with a friend to watch a children’s Christmas pageant. There is something about the simplicity and innocence of a children’s Christmas pageant that helps us regain focus as to what this season is all about. It often helps us go back to those early days of our own lives when things were much simpler. Those traditional Christmas carols and jingles that we used to sing in school or church choirs are reborn in our soul and they tend to rekindle a spark of Christmas joy.
2. Take time to bake some of your favorite holiday treats. The smells of Christmas candies and cookies will carry you back to those more friendly and happy moments of the season you used to enjoy and love. Then take some of your homemade treats and bless those who maybe your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or maybe those in a nursing home or a children’s home. Our bringing comfort to others seems to always produce comfort in our own lives.
3. Take an evening and invite a friend or few to take a stroll in a festive outdoor shopping area that is all lit up and the sounds of Christmas music fills the air. Or take a ride in close by neighborhoods that are glistening with the sights of bright Christmas lights while playing the festive sounds of Christmas music in the background. These sights and sounds will stimulate the soul and take the mind off the darkness of hurting memories and replace it with the warmth of season’s joy.
4. Maybe you don’t have the room or the money to purchase a Christmas tree. That’s alright! There are things you can do to still bring in the fun of the Christmas season into your home and make it festive. Maybe get some Christmas garland and place it around the door post or around the window frame with a few lights. Get a festive colored bowl and place some plastic Christmas ornaments inside the bowl to give it a bright display of Christmas cheer. Purchase a naked wreath take some twist wire and tie your Christmas cards around the wreath then hang it in your apartment or house somewhere.
5. If you’re a family make it a tradition to invite a single young adult or a single parent family to join you and your family for a Christmas dinner. This way those who have no one in the area to share the holiday with are not left alone, but have the experience of family enjoying the traditions of the season together.
6. Last but not least make it a tradition to sing happy birthday to Jesus together as part of your Christmas celebration. This will help maintain proper focus on the reason for such a glorious season.