Many of us have experienced lonely Christmases, sick Christmases, depressed Christmases.
And that’s okay.
Remember that the first Christmas was probably filled with pain as the new mother gave birth; anxiety for the future, as they just arrived in strange Bethlehem, and the fear of where they would lay their heads to sleep the following day.
It took courage for the new parents to keep their hearts filled with hope for what was to come, to start their new life as a family together during those hard times in Judea. I imagine they must have been very cold and unsure what would happen next.
Did they even know how to care for a firstborn child?
It must not have been easy, or very festive, or very merry, for that matter.
In this part of Europe, the days are so short. I am typing this at 4pm, when it’s already dark. The light fades fast, and the cold, cold weather can make everything feel a little grey.
Yet the stars shine brighter, and the moon’s glow lights up my bedroom when all is dark and silent. And of course, the twinkling Christmas lights on the trees outside are even more brilliant.
There’s still something beautiful about short, wintry days.
Maybe we can keep Christmas in our hearts after all, by remembering the tender love of a mother, what new life and new beginnings mean. Even when you have nothing, or no one left, it’s a place to start again, and think of everything as new, especially the coming year.
It can be a time to give thanks for what we have, and who we have still with us…and even if you are on your own, you can celebrate a joy that comes from hearts in solitude, those whom have learned to make peace with themselves, and the world.
When you find that joy, it’s a wonderful place to be.
As we say here in Germany, Fröhliche Weihnachten!