Before I begin, I’m aware that this season is not joyful for everyone. For some, this season ignites pain and stress, resurfaces old memories and bitterness, sadness or despair.
For me, I have my winter wounds as well, for it was on December 15 that my daughter and I found my father, which led to many months of hospital visits, nursing homes and, finally hospice. For me, December 15 opened the doorway to a dark season of my life.
But: that door has closed.
And, I don’t let the memories of darkness steal away the light of the season. Because this season if filled with lights. The lights of the decorated houses, lights of Christmas trees, and the lights in children’s eyes as they experience the wonder and awe of the world dressing itself up in beauty. Everywhere you look, there are adornments on everyday objects- from mailboxes to streetlights, stop signs and crossing walks… the world certainly looks prettier these days.
And, the people: if you look… closely, you can see the light in their eyes. From the off hours waitress at the drugstore printing out decades old photos as gifts for her adult children, scanning old polaroids and printed photos, excitingly looking at each one with joyful memories lighting up in her mind.
To the grandmother, packing a box for far away children… taking delight in tossing handfuls of candy into a parcel to mail.
Even that bitter co worker, has a light. Okay, maybe it’s an ember… it just needs fanning.
This season, think about taking the time to fan the embers of the lights that are fading. I’m sure there is “that person” that Scrooge or Grinch in your life, and- that person that may have every reason to loathe the season. Or, that person that is so devastated by the season it’s simply not existent .
This season, take a moment to love them, weather it’s a simple plate of brownies, or a gift card for a coffee. Take a moment to remind them that dark memories don’t have to diminish the light of the future.
Because, weather you believe or not- this season represents light- and life. Life that is made to serve others, love others and embrace grace and mercy.
This season is designed for us to remember to love.
Without this season, the world would be very dark indeed.
As you light up your holiday, weather is a plug or a candle… don’t forget to ignite the fire in what really matters: People.
Merry Christmas and Happiest of holidays to you all.