I know that many of my friends struggle to cope at Christmas time. While others are out celebrating and making merry, you try to keep your mind from dwelling on the dark thoughts that haunt you.
My grandfather died on Christmas day when I was 10 years old. I remember the following year bringing the Christmas tree to gramma’s house with my dad and hearing her say there would be no tree this year. The presence of a tree would bring back painful memories… memories that were too much for her to bear.
I know it can be hard during the holidays for some of you and I want you to know that I understand. I can’t remove your pain – but I hope and pray for your peace this year.
I’ve found one thing that brings me joy this time of year. It’s the courtesy and kindness people have shown me and others around Christmas over the years.
Yesterday a stranger gave me a coupon for cup of coffee at Circle K. People who would normally ignore me were greeting me as I walked through the hospital. Everywhere I went people seemed to be a little happier and a little more giving. It may sound cliché, but there really does seem to be a spirit of generosity and love that grips some people this time of year. Perhaps there really is a “Christmas spirit.”
It’s easy to see the commercialism that surrounds Christmas; the greed of corporations, the stress of meeting people’s expectations, the discomfort of family gatherings and other negative things the holiday brings. If you want, you can make those things your focus and believe they’re the only thing happening at Christmas time. I’ve chosen to look past them.
I’ve decided to look instead for the lovely things; the smiles, the giving, the warm hugs and pats on the back and the thank you’s from people out doing their holiday errands. When I look for the good in others, something inside of me wants to be one of those people, if only for a day.
Kat Kerr was taken into heaven once, and transported to a snow-covered village where the trees were adorned with living ornaments that sang praises to God. In the village, children played and sang. She asked her escort the name of the place. She was told it was called “Christmas Town.”
She asked why God would create such a place. She was told that the town was a memorial to the one time a year when people showed the kind of love to each other that God wanted them to show all year round. His heart was so warmed by the way we act this time of year, He decided to make a place in heaven to keep the Christmas spirit alive for all eternity.
Here’s to another Christmas season, my friends. I hope yours is filled with peace, love and hope. Thank you for allowing me to be your friend.
~ Praying Medic