Christmas is supposed to be a time of happiness, joy and family celebration. It's the time we remember the birth of Jesus, sing carols and give and receive gifts. Well that's the way it's supposed to be, but who said? Maybe that's the way our parents or grandparents did it, or it's the way some people celebrate Christmas today. However for many people it is a time of sadness, bitterness and fighting. Some wish that there wasn't a Christmas at all, or that when it comes, it would pass quickly. I'm told of a lady who held her Christmas in late November because the 25th of December held painful memories. When our expectations are not met, and the Christmas at the top of this article is not likely to happen, then we might be better off to modify our expectations. When we know that a loved one is not going to return, and that a broken relationship cannot be put back together, and that a child has grown and now has his or her own responsibilities, we face reality. Facing these issues with realistic expectations may not lessen the pain of the loss, but it may avoid the added pain of failed expectations. Whatever your circumstances, when you strip all the trimmings away, you may be able to see the grown up Christmas Child, whose name is Jesus the Christ. He may be waiting down the path and inviting you to enter a loving and secure relationship with Him, and just, maybe, He will appear in the form of one of His family. No, not an Angel, but someone who is prepared to share the love of God at this special time. Let's challenge the things we clutter around Christmas; the trees, the shopping, the parties, the six weeks of carols in our shops, the Santas, the sleigh and the snow. Let's think about the 'Christ' in Christmas and don't be afraid to ask why. Think about what a realistic Christmas would be like. You may have to be tough with some of your decisions in your planning, but it will pay off.
May God bless you in those plans and with a safe and peaceful Christmas.
If you would like to talk about losses and the things that will be a struggle at Christmas, please call me at Valley Care Counselling Service on 0409517273. This is an interdenominational Service to assist the people of the Upper Yarra.
Graeme Dawson B.Min.
Co-ordinator Focal Point
Valley Care Counselling Service Manager 0409 517273
Christian & Missionary Alliance
Church of Christ
River Valley Church
Valley Christian Fellowship