Christmas often brings an atmosphere of warmth and sharing and good will in the world. For some, Christmas is something to dread.  It only brings an icy, lonely, sadness…a melancholy that will not pass.

Christmas music that plays endlessly on the radio and in the malls is a reminder of all that is not right with the world for these folks…and they are all around us.

The neighbor who waves to you at the mailbox each day, the coworker whose smile seems to a little forced these days, the friend whose voice sounds a little shaky on the phone  –  they will all say they’re fine, but they’re not.

The emotions tied into the Holiday seasons, beginning with Thanksgiving, only magnify what is missing or problematic for some.  While they watch the rest of the world “Ho-Ho-Ho-ing” and “Merry Christmas-ing,” they are silently weeping.

They may be remembering a particularly tough loss experienced during this season in years gone by…they may be fretting over how to pay their bills, much less purchase gifts and food.  The television commercials portray perfect families with perfect homes and perfect gifts which merely seeks to drive home what is missing in their own life.  Perhaps the threat of unemployment is looming on the horizon.  Perhaps an illness or a relationship that is ending.

Be sensitive to those within your life during this time of year.  Listen to what is left unsaid. Look into their eyes and if you see a profound sadness, give them a hug, ask if they’d like to talk.  Listen.

If you are the one who is hiding behind a facade of holiday merriment, I urge you to talk to someone about it.  A trusted friend, a pastor, your doctor – this is important and you must seek help to get through.  This heavy load you are carrying will be made easier if you let someone share the burden.

There is no better gift which can be given than to help someone you love to get through difficult times.  Even if the one you are helping is yourself.



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