To: The One Not Having A Merry Christmas…
I know you’re out there because I’ve been there. In fact I’ve been there numerous times before. My personal “Christmas Blues” moments consisted of:
- Our first few Christmases in a new country away from family.
- The first Christmas we had no money for a Christmas themed meal and presents.
- The few Christmases I battled with depression.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you won’t force yourself to embrace the joy and excitement everyone else is feeling. It’s simply whatever circumstance you’re in. I mean this cruel world doesn’t suddenly become perfect at Christmas time. People are still poor, people still die and people still feel sad. So don’t beat yourself up. Don’t feel like there’s something specifically wrong with you because you’re not “merry”.
But I do beg of you, don’t hide away from everyone because you feel like the “party pooper”. Especially the ones you love. They’re the ones that want you there to make their Christmas merry.
And if you don’t have anyone to be with, please google search a church in your area with a Christmas Eve/Day service. Many churches have them. This may seem like a weird idea but, find one that’s small. The reason is, small churches tend to notice easily when someone is new.
I can almost guarantee someone will come to you and ask, “what are your plans for Christmas?”. Don’t be embarrassed to say you’re not doing anything. You won’t regret being honest. I do not believe they would make fun of you. Because if they do… well Jesus help them.
To: The One That Knows Someone Not Having A Merry Christmas…
We all have our plans and traditions at Christmas time. We have our set ideas of how it should look, who should be there and a set schedule of what gets done.
Please don’t be afraid of changing things around this year to include someone that’s alone for Christmas. Don’t be afraid your family will get mad at you if you invite friends that have no plans for Christmas. Honestly if they do get mad, just take it. The amount of good that’ll come from it is worth it.
Please don’t be shy about inviting an international/immigrant family that you don’t know well. Let Christmas be the time that you get to know them and treat them like family. I still remember every family that welcomed my family into their homes for Christmas when we were International Students. These are people that are still very dear to my family’s heart.
And finally, if you know someone that is going through a depression and doesn’t want to be around a lot of people celebrating… it’s worth it to consider going out of your way to excuse yourself early from your Christmas gathering to spend some one-on-one time with this person. Maybe just to bring them a little gift or to check in on them and let them know you’re thinking of them. Ask if they do want to hang out for a bit. Be open to hearing no, but be sure it’s not that they really mean to say yes. Ask three times if you have to. And if they say yes, be open to not doing anything very Christmas themed. Just enjoy each other’s company.
The struggle is still real at Christmas time. So let’s give the gift of community to as many people as possible.