Always for some of us there is a month, and a day of the month, and an hour of the day when life is sadder colored than its usual wont, when we have need to lay hold of strength that is greater than ours, and when, indeed, we enter into our closets, and shut our doors, and pray to our Father who is in secret. Few lives there are which, having been extended beyond youth, have not known the moulding touches of pain. 1898
This is the time of year, more than any other, when people reminisce about old times. Ghosts of Christmas Past hover everywhere–in a Christmas tree ornament, a recipe, or a scratchy old record. They bring back memories of days long gone, times that once were and will never be again. We especially miss people who were once the center of our lives and even those who never took the central place we’d hoped, but somehow their absence still leaves a hole. No matter how hard we try or wish, we can’t recreate the moments and make them live up to our expectations.
Only when we fret at pain and gird at it, quarrel with it and resist it in fierce rebellion does it produce bitterness and sharpness rather than sweetness and strength.
We’re in good company–there isn’t a woman (or man) throughout history that hasn’t experienced a loss or deep disappointment. We don’t want to become sour old ladies muttering about how much better life was a long time ago, whether at Christmas or any other time of year.
All we can do is appreciate God’s blessings of yesterday and today, then make this season the best we can for those around us. The strongest of traditions inevitably end but they all started once upon a time. Maybe this is the year for a new one.
Wherever you are, and in whatever circumstances you find yourself this season, Merry Christmas. May God bless us, every one.