Christmas is notoriously the most wonderful time of the year. We count down all year for the big night, we sing songs about it, decorate our houses for it, prepare our hearts for the season, bake cookies and have parties all for the celebration of Christmas.
But sometimes, the joy that surrounds this festive time of year is…missing. For some, Christmas is not necessarily a time of happiness, but rather a painful reminder that loved ones are no longer with us on this earth.
And that…is really hard.
I’m going to be honest, this very topic has been on my heart a lot here recently. I fall asleep thinking about it. And sometimes I’m just overwhelmed with tears, thinking of what some of my loved ones are going through.
And so I wanted to just take a moment tonight to write something specifically to those who may be missing someone this Christmas.
Mainly, that I see you. I see what you are walking through right now. Though the world may seem like an endless chorus of Jingle Bells, grating at the soul, I recognize that you are dealing with grief in this time of cultural celebration.
And though I cannot take that away, or mitigate it, or even know to the extent of how much it hurts, what I can tell you is that I am walking alongside you, and I want to support you through it in whatever way I can.
If you don’t feel like being holly-jolly, that’s fine. If you need time alone, or need to take breaks from gatherings…that’s okay. You need to do what is right for you in this time and just get through it. So I want you to hear that I understand if you need to forgo an appearance or step outside for some air.
I want you to know that I am here to listen. If you want to talk about memories, or things that you’re missing, or if something reminds you of someone – I am available to listen. If it’s easier if I don’t say anything in response, I can do that. Or if it’s easier not to talk about those things, that’s fine too.
Lastly, I want you to know that I love you. And you don’t have to carry this alone. Even if I’m just carrying the tail end of the elephant, I will carry that tail.
Finally, it is my deepest prayer that anyone who is carrying grief during this season be wrapped in the love of Jesus. May you feel His blanket of peace around you during this difficult time.
Christmas time – though it has been secularized almost to the point of unrecognition – is about Jesus coming to earth. He is near. He is near to those who are hurting, to those in pain, to those brokenhearted and grieving. And what a powerful reminder that He loves us so much that He would come to earth to be close to us.
May that truth be a source of comfort during this time of year.
If you would like to share your heart, I am available: firstname.lastname@example.org
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33 responses to “When Christmas is Hard…”
This post is so wonderful, Caralyn! You hit it right on the head of the nail, this time of year is so difficult for so many people. In the stores or just watching people putting gas in their cars today, I seem to see some sadness in their eyes which is sad.
My mother passed in 2012, since then, our family Christmas gatherings have never been the same without her sparkle and shine. Her joy of the season and to be near her loved ones.
My dad is 94 years young and doing pretty well now after a sudden trip to the hospital. Every day, every hour is precious. Wishing you and yours joy and blessings this Christmas season my friend. 🙏🏻❤️
Oh John, I’m sorry for your loss. that is so tough. Her sparkle and shine lives on in you, my friend. I feel the glow shining from your heart and through your kind comments. You carry her with you. You’re right – time is so precious, and I will absolutely be praying for your dad. Does he live nearby? Sending big hugs, john. xox
Thanks so much, Caralyn. Dad is in Florida at the moment, he is down there for winter and returns to Michigan for the summer months. I have always believed that mother lives on in me and my family. We shall be together again one day in His presence. 🙏🏻
An EXCELLENT title on this is A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken! It is so inspiring I’m ordering several copies for friends!!
Thank you CA, I appreciate the recco. I will definitely check this out and pass it along. I hope you and yours had a wonderful christmas. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for addressing this. The holidays can be very, very difficult for some people. Merry Christmas, and I pray that we all have a wonderful and blessed 2023!
Thank you Jenny Grace. You’re right – very difficult indeed. I will join you in that important prayer! Hugs and love xox
Hi Caralyn, I wanted to wish you a very blessed New Year 2023. I enjoy reading your blog; it is inspirational. Thank you for sharing your faith.
[…] When Christmas is Hard… […]
thank you for the link up! Hugs and love xox
This post really hit home. When I was a child, my mother was killed in a car accident over Christmas. There was sadness that lingered many years. Christmas celebrates Jesus and is also a family holiday. There are many who struggle during this season. ❤️🤗🎄
I’m so sorry Pure Glory. Merry Christmas ❤
Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear that, friend. Gosh. that is so tragic. I can only imagine the pain this season brings for you and your family. May you find comfort in the memories of her love for you, and feel the comforting arms of Jesus surrounding you during this difficult season. Thank you for sharing that. know that you’re in my heart and prayers. Hugs and love xox
Such a lovely gesture
Thank you Sheree, sending the biggest hugs. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. xoxo
All well said. Grounded in our shared humanity and Emmanuel. He is near. Happy Christmas to you and yours~
Amen to that, Jeff. thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Amen! Stay encouraged and May the joy of the Lord bless you and your family during these times. 🙏🏽❤️
Thank you, friend. Amen to that – He brings hope and light — especially now at Christmas. Hugs and love xox
Funny how things like this work. I’ve written about the challenges some face during the holidays, especially first responders and those who have personal health or family issues troubling them. I just posted or scheduled a series I called a Christmas Saga that will end Christmas Eve morning. Then the day after Christmas my plan is to tell another story that started the day after Christmas some years ago. Mine are more secular, and political, than what you just wrote, but I feel we are on the same page in many ways. Once again, thanks for sharing your thoughts and gifts.
Hi S, thank you for sharing your heart on this. Gosh – I have so much respect and gratitude to our first responders. They sacrifice so much for the good of others. Sounds like a powerful series you published. Looking forward to checking it out. Hugs and love xox
You have a big heart. I hope…and I’m sure it will…this provides comfort to many and reminds the reason for the season.
Thank you David, I appreciate that. Lots of prayers going out during this time of year. Hugs and love xox
You have a beautiful heart Caralyn!
Thank you Delores, what a kind thing to say. hope you and yours had a wonderful christmas. Hugs and love xox
Well said! Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Thank you D, Same to you. i hope you and yours had a wonderful christmas. Hugs and love xox
Beautifully written Caralyn. I’m so glad you are in your new state and have a wonderful fiancé. Merry Christmas ❤
Thank you so much Marla, I appreciate your kindness! Yes! I am so grateful to be starting this new chapter here with him! Hugs and love xox
Merry Christmas to you and Steven and all your loved ones. This time of year is such a blessed time. As you said , “ what a powerful reminder that He loves us so much that He would come to earth to be close to us.” Hod bless us all!
Thank you so much Jan, same to you! I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. Amen to that – He is near and loves us oh so much! Hugs and love xox
Thank you, Caralyn. Life is full of blessings along with the challenges. It’s nice to be a “glass half full” person, isn’t it?
Prayers for your special loved one(s) at this time of loss. I’ve been there. I couldn’t go to our gathering the first year after Mom died. Christmas is easier now. I do miss the gatherings we used to have. The hope that Christmas brings… the hope of heaven… makes this easier. Blessings!