Full disclosure: Christmas is not my favorite holiday. At all. Despite my efforts to make it as low-key, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible, I still end up wishing it were over before it even begins. This year was no exception.
Images of angelic children, Norman Rockwell like scenes of Christmas bliss, and exultations of this being the best Christmas ever began to fill up social media and my inbox last night and continued throughout the day, reminding me, or perhaps trying to convince me, that this really is the most wonderful time of the year. For some people. It is the people for whom this is not the most wonderful time of the year that I have been thinking about, though, as they are like ghosts of Christmas present. They are here among us, but not heard or seen by most.
These are the people who are not necessarily sharing snapshots of their holiday festivities, as they don’t fit in with the acceptable norms of displaying one’s family unity, love, abundance, and joy to be liked, shared, or retweeted. These are the people who are cajoled into celebrating, when they have their own reasons for not doing so, and who are admonished to count their blessings and to think about how other people have it worse than they do when they are doing their best to cope. These are the people who hear the message loud and clear this time of year that their pain has no place amidst the joy and merriment of the season. These are my people.
They are the ones grieving the loss of someone to death, divorce, deployment, distance, or discord. They are the ones who are facing life threatening illnesses. They are the ones who are dealing with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. They are the ones who are struggling financially. They are the ones who give more than they will ever receive. They are the ones who experience loneliness in the presence of others. They are the ones who want to be holly and jolly, but they can’t. Not now, at least.
This is not to imply that everyone who falls into one of the aforementioned categories does not, or cannot, enjoy the holidays. I know those people who thrive in the face of adversity, and I marvel at their resiliency and their ability to get into the holiday spirit. This is not about those people, though. It is for the people who are struggling, for I think that this time of the year has the ability to amplify one’s pain exponentially.
While this blog cannot solve the problems of the world, I hope that it serves to remind these people that they are not alone. They are seen and heard, and they are understood. Also, this season is just that. A season. It will change, and it will end. It will.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story