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Marriage and Family

The Two Sides of Christmas

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12/01/2010 - With the Christmas season now upon us, we enter into a season of joys, celebrations and festivities. The overlying images most people carry as they think of this holiday are ones of warmth, love and close family togetherness. This is not true for every person. The Christmas season can also be a time of sorrow, regrets and grief. Each holiday tends to be a marker for those who have lost loved ones or faced tragedies in their lives.

To those who have the blessings of not facing such tragedies at this point in your lives, take this time to fully, consciously appreciate your loved ones. Do not allow the holiday season to be a marker to remind you of your blessings, but rather a moment to put work and other stress behind you and focus on that time together. Dr. Adrian Rogers once stated that there are two kinds of people. There are people who are in storms in their lives and are coming out, and people who will be entering into storms. My purpose is not to cast doom and gloom but rather to encourage you to make the most of every moment with those you love.

To those who are experiencing the pain of loss and tragedy this Christmas, allow yourselves to remember those you have loved. It is very common for people to be taken off guard when they experience a wave of pain. Sometimes this wave will hit at the most unexpected times and not hit when it is anticipated. The holidays will probably never look the same. While it is important to find your ways to remember them and still enjoy the blessings you still have, it is okay and normal to continue to feel the sadness. I encourage you to not be afraid to talk to one another about that person and share some of your favorite memories. Try not to allow that person to become the "elephant in the room" in which everyone can sense the emptiness but it remains un-discussed and un-shared. There can be a healing component in the memories.

Christmas is a time of joy and love but the harsh reality in life is that there is a flip side to the holiday. Let us not turn a blind eye towards the existing pain but rather share in the memories of those we love. Let us also immerse ourselves in moments of togetherness in order to create memories to hold onto for the coming years. Have a very merry and memorable Christmas this year.

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