Today's Scripture Reading
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Listen to "Blue Christmas"
Dave Silk and Diane Kafka - guitar and mountain dulcimer;
When you're having a blue Christmas; or, the other side of Christmas.
In the midst of all the preparations, shopping, and special events to attend during the Christmas season, some people may find themselves feeling sad or “blue.” If you are going through some difficulties in your life, or missing some one, or have had to make changes you did not want to make during these economic times, this time of year can be anything but happy or joyful. During the winter in the northern hemisphere, there is a lot more darkness this time of year, longer nights and shorter days. You may find yourself missing the “light.” The sad feelings can be extreme during the holidays.
There are things that help us deal with the extra holiday stress, but sometimes these are very hard for us. We do not have to do everything on the list. We can ask for help with chores, so we can get some much needed downtime. We can change our holiday patterns, perhaps not sending Christmas cards if that has been our custom in the past; not decorating as profusely as in other years, or perhaps not at all, if we simply do not feel like it. When we are grieving the loss of someone or changes that have had to made during difficult times, we need to give ourselves permission to be depressed. If even being with family is too hard, we can always tell them that we need to take a break and are taking some down time.
It may help to find do some of the things that refresh us — doing puzzles, relaxing with a hot cup of cocoa or a favorite tea, walking, playing with a pet. Volunteering can be a good way to put the “blues” behind us for a while; working at a shelter or church to serve others a Christmas meal can really change a person’s focus. Perhaps visiting with one close friend can be a way to gently re-connect.
It’s easy to forget, but a good balance of adequate rest and healthy eating is always important; it's also harder to do when we’re feeling down. Contemplative prayer, meditations, and often a small, random act of kindness for another person may help. Allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel is important - the sense of loss or desperation is real and part of being human.
In the end, we try to remember that the birth and life of Christ is what matters in this season. The continuous love of God is never passive. God is always there, reaching out to every one of us — perhaps, most of all, in our time of deepest need.
Loving God, be with each of us this season of celebrating your greatest gift. Help each and every one of us find the peace that you have promised. Hold our hearts in your healing hands. Amen.
A reminder: watch for the special video offering of DisciplesNet, “Crying at Christmas”, which is especially targeted for those for whom this season can be a difficult reminder of loss or suffering.
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