I have been trying to name what Christmas does to me.
What is it that I am feeling? Is it joy? Sadness? Grief? Regret? Yearning? Excitement? Happiness? Disappointment? Fear? Melancholy?
I thought you might be feeling this way too. Are you?
Aren't we all?
So I decided to write all of us a letter.
To the little boy who wanted the new bike but didn't get it, it is okay to cry.
To the elderly grandmother who fears losing her mental faculties, it is okay to be scared.
To anyone anywhere with that empty seat at the table, I see you. Whether it is Year One or Year Twenty without him, without her, without them, it still hurts. Don't swallow it, my friend. Don't shove it down. Allow its entrance and its exit.
To the wife who notices her husband doesn't look at her as much as he once did, it is okay to feel unnoticed. I wonder if he feels noticed by you?
To the dad who just wants everyone to get along (and they don't), go ahead and feel your frustration. You can't fix it (as badly as you want it fixed), so just sit in it. It will pass.
To the one that got away, I think you got away for a reason. I don't know what it is, but I think I believe that? I'm allowed to think about it though. I'm tired of being told what I should or shouldn't think about, aren't you?
To the sister who sees brother steal every show it seems, take that jealousy wave and ride it. Get it as big as you can until it slowly softens and washes away.
To the husband who wishes his wife would touch him more, feel that hurt. Allow yourself to feel it and then ask yourself what she may be feeling right now.
To the single mom drowning in debt, it is okay to feel anxious, scared, angry, sad. This isn't what you dreamed of - and it is OKAY to have feelings about that.
To anyone spending this day alone (or feeling as if they are alone), it is awful. I have been single without kids, and I did not enjoy it. Be sad if you need to be sad. Feel the yearning for a family or relationship if you have it. When we deny ourselves and our feelings, we will never walk in our truth or our light.
To the sweet little girl who loves all things Christmas and Santa and baby Jesus and twinkling lights and hot cocoa, please don't disappear. I still need you. We still need you. Your children need you. Your aging mom and dad still need you. YOU still need yourself. Please don't let go of that wonder. Please try to remember the warmth under the heaviness of reality, sweet girl. Please find that sparkle in your tired eyes and FEEL the delight of this day and the upcoming days. You know so much now, dear girl. You've seen too much now, my old friend. But you are still here. The you that is typing this or reading this - that has had lots of Christmas Eves by now... and the you that is only on her fourth Christmas Eve, staring at the tree, dreaming of Santa and his reindeer, warm in footed pajamas, holding her blankie, surrounded by her family, not a worry in the world. Hold on baby girl. We all need you right now. Remind us of that Peace. Joy. Contentment. Excitement. HOPE. I may not know what or who to believe anymore, but I do believe in YOU.
Merry Christmas friends.
From me to you.