Friday, December 23, 2016

Focus On The Joy Of The Holiday

Excitement, joy, baking, gift wrapping, shopping, parties, worship and family--all of these come to mind when we celebrate our Christmas holiday and perhaps many of the same for those who celebrate other holidays this month, namely Hanukkah and Kwanza. It's to be a happy time with reminders of why we recognize our special day. 

This morning, as I sat in my office drinking the rest of my morning coffee, reading emails and scrolling rapidly through facebook, I added another word to the list above. Sadness. That emotion popped up today in emails and facebook messages over and over again. So many times that I thought perhaps it was a message to me to address it here at Writer Granny's World.  

The name of my blog should tell you that I've lived through a good many Christmases and not all of them have been 100% happy. I haven't forgotten those but I would rather focus on the ones that brought joy and love instead.  

One article a friend shared this morning was written by a columnist who felt almost overwhelming sadness every Christmas as she thought about those in her family that she's lost over the years. Her memories were of the things each one did for her or what they meant to her, especially at holiday time. And that made her very sad. 

Every one of us has memories of those in our families who have passed on. Instead of being saddened, why not try to be lifted in spirit by the thought of those people whom we loved and the things about them that we cherished? We expect to lose the eldest members of our extended families but losing a child or a beloved spouse is often so shocking to us that it is difficult to overcome the sorrow at holiday time. Ask yourself if your loved one would want you to fall into despair every year when holiday time rolled around. I doubt if many could answer 'yes' to that. 

I read a beautifully written essay recently written by a mother who had lost an adult son. The message she received in her heart was to stop mourning so deeply. Instead, she found that she was to do one thing. Love her son. With that love came the good memories of happy times. It seems to me that Christmas is about love and what better way to celebrate this holy time than to love and cherish those in our family and others around us, too. 

Christmas shouldn't be about all the tasks we have to do. All the hard work of preparing for a family gathering. All the shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning and more. Yes, we have to tackle all that but we do it out of love for our family. We do it to help others, and ourselves, keep the reason for the season in mind. To me, Christmas is about love and kindness to others; it's about helping those who have less than we do. It's about all that and recognizing the religious part of the holiday, first and foremost. 

Those of us who write are most fortunate as we can put our feelings and thoughts into words to bring comfort and joy to others and for ourselves, as well. Even if you are not a professional writer, you can write a letter to yourself or to a loved one who is no longer here. Keep it private or share it--that is your choice. 

I wish all who celebrate this Blessed Christmas holiday joy and love as you spend your day--whether it be with family or friends, or even alone. May the meaning of Christmas lift your spirits and ease any sorrows you harbor. 

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