Several years ago, I attended a Blue Christmas service, led by a pastor-friend. It is a service during Advent to help those who are experiencing loss or struggles, acknowledging that the Christmas season is difficult in their circumstances.
It would have been beneficial to attend such a service this year.
I have been preoccupied with caregiving responsibilities and concerns over these last months, which don’t pause just because it is December. I outsourced nearly all the Christmas preparations to my family, even sending holiday cards and letters, which has long been one of my highest priorities. I couldn’t make myself try to sum up what has been a complex year, so spouse B and daughter T wrote a letter instead.
One of the blessings of this year, though, has been that our Christmas celebration has been elongated, starting with St. Nicholas Day on December 6th, which we observed so that we could celebrate with daughter E and granddaughter ABC before they left to spend several weeks with son-in-law L and his family in London. My older sister and her husband came to visit weekend before last. T and I attended Christmas Eve mass at 6:00 last night, with the instrumental ensemble and choir and the handbell choir. T loves handbells and ringing, so it was wonderful to hear them, especially with the new addition of handchimes.
On this Christmas morning, we opened stockings and a few presents, given that we already did stockings and gift exchange for St. Nicholas Day. We will have dinner at noon with Nana and Paco, bringing Nana over from her room in skilled nursing to the main dining room for the holiday buffet, as we did at Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, my younger sister and her family will arrive for a couple of days.
Still, it is difficult for me to feel festive. It’s hard to marvel at the wonder of the Incarnation while thinking about logistics and everyday details.
Perhaps, that is the message, though. The wonder of the Incarnation is that it arrived by everyday means, the birth of a child in complicated circumstances, something that happens around the world every day.
Perhaps, I can take that message into my own heart today, reminding myself that the spirit of Love is within and around us in our everyday experiences, if we only reflect and notice.
Wishing that spirit of Love to each of you,
4 thoughts on “blue Christmas”
Happy Holidays to you as well, I hope you get a minute to just sit and relax!!!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks, SD! I’m actually getting a little rest time right now.
I understand the Blue Christmas feeling. And your family has been able to deal with the pressures with such grace. I’ll just share a bit. December 16th 1976 I got a call that my dad was going to have cancer surgery. That Christmas we spent in hospital, but he pulled through that. I was having bad feelings throughout the next year, but people said I was just being too jumpy. However, on the same date a year later 12/16/77, my dad went back into hospital for adhesions that had formed from the earlier operation. At that time, they found that there had been new cancer that had formed since the year earlier. Inoperable. He told us without showing fear, and said he was at peace. He lived until October 2, 1978. For almost 10 years, I hated Christmas and the Christmas season. It was not until my kids were born that I got back into it. But for a long time, it was Blue Christmas for me. So, I understand.
Thanks for sharing and understanding, Stan. I’m sorry that you had so many blue Christmases, but it is good to know that you eventually were able to find a route back to happier Christmases.