At this time of year, it seems like we’re all supposed to be ridiculously happy, hanging out with all our loved ones, and getting all we ask for whether tangible or intangible gifts. That is not reality. For some, the holidays are a sad and challenging time…made more so by those artificially-created, lofty expectations they should be feeling exactly the opposite.
Life doesn’t operate on a schedule, and Life could care less what time of year it is. Relationships end during the holidays, illness arrives during the holidays, and loss is experienced during the holidays. The commercialization of the season – which starts earlier each year – disappoints those who fear its true meaning has been lost. Financial concerns. Job losses. Christmas time is for many at best bittersweet…at worst the worst.
I have empathy for those who don’t care for this time of year…those who just want the holidays to be over with…and to already be living in the new year.
I will celebrate the holidays here. I’ll also reference religious beliefs regarding Christmas. That being said, if you are someone who wishes it was already January 2nd, be advised I get it. My mother passed away days before Thanksgiving several years back, so of course I now think about that at Thanksgiving. Life didn’t care Thanksgiving was coming. But that’s…Life. It certainly helped enhance my awareness this time of year isn’t for everybody. Life doesn’t have a calendar.
I am not an expert on the acclaimed sci-fi television series “Doctor Who” but I have seen several seasons of it. Each year at this time, I revisit their wonderful Christmas episodes. There is one in particular titled “Last Christmas.”
The idea of Last Christmas is not restricted to this episode; it is a Who-ism. It speaks towards people wanting to get together at this time of year with those they love…because there is the chance it might be the Last Christmas they get to do so. The holidays can still be a magical time for some of us, even if Life hasn’t always been kind each and every holiday season, and even if it feels others act like this time of year is more about getting rather than giving…or giving thanks.
Expressions of and gratitude for love are “expected” for those who love Christmas. But for those who don’t love it, I keep in mind all the love they possess, express, and are grateful for. Partners, relatives, pets. Here…and no longer here. None of us can control Life, but all of us can possess and express love every day of the year… and always be grateful for whom we love.
I saw a commercial a few seasons ago from AT & T. The narrator said AT & T knows the best kind of holiday is the one where everyone gets what they wish for. To me, the best kind of holiday -whether celebrating it or not – is one where I express my appreciation and gratitude for those I have love for.
I sometimes find myself at Christmas silently wishing there will be a next. That it won’t be Last Christmas. It can be a sobering concept to think about. Yet, I find myself in those moments also thinking about Biblical interpretations of 1 Corinthians regarding the concept of love.
Love never fades, never fails, never ends.
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