Holidays different for everyone

By Debra Whittington

Blessed be God…Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them…

Corinthians 1:3-4

The holiday season is upon us complete with the round of Christmas parties, shopping, decorating, cooking, and who knows what else. It is as though people are trying to take one month and put in a year’s worth of activities. Listening to people talk makes me tired as they relate their itinerary for the month. Wait a minute! Is all this really necessary?

The answer to that question for some people is a resounding yes! There are people who thrive on the constant hustle and bustle of the holiday season and are yearning for even more things to do. For these people, I simply say: “Go for it and enjoy yourself”.

On the other hand there are people who prefer a much quieter holiday season. They are far from being Scrooges, but life dealt them a blow that changed them forever. Mark’s grandmother was one of those people. Christmas was a sacred time for her and she loved observing the birth of her Savior, but in her own way. She lost her mother a couple of days before Christmas and the funeral was held on Christmas day. The day was never the same again for her. She preferred to be like Mary, pondering these things in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Thanksgiving was a totally different subject. She loved having her family gather around. It gave her great joy to cook the turkey and stuffing until her health prevented her from doing so. Even after she quit cooking she was in the center of things visiting and offering advice on last minute preparations. On her last Thanksgiving, she was blessed to have children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren surrounding her. It was one of the best Thanksgivings ever for her family. It is sad, but the entire family were never together again for Thanksgiving.

While I may seem to ramble on, there is a point to all of this reminiscing. It is important to realize that the holidays aren’t a joyous time for everyone. I remember a dear friend who went home to be with the Lord right at Thanksgiving last year. I have another friend who lost her husband earlier this year and is facing the first holiday season without her mate. Although she is brave on the outside I am sure it isn’t always that way on the inside.

So what is a person to do? The main thing is to not forget about these people. Try to include them in your own festivities. If they aren’t up to joining you, take them some food and spend time with them. Be a listening ear and a tender heart. Allow them to share stories of years past or how they are trying to deal with the future.

I challenge you to read the entire passage of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Remember how God comforted you during your darkest days and then go comfort someone who needs you.