"Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato
It's no secret that this is a hard time of year for many people. Some churches have "Blue Christmas" services for people who lost loved ones in the last year or anyone else who is struggling with their grief amidst the hollyjolly and hohoho and mistletoe.
It's not just the bereaved that have a hard time at Christmas. Whatever you don't have and wish you did--love, money, a partner, children, a job--this time of year just makes the empty place emptier. Every TV commercial, every carol on the radio, every happy family at church just intensifies the pain.
I love Christmas and I celebrate with enthusiasm. Maybe you do too. We don't need to apologize for that or dial it back. But we can be sensitive and gracious and avoid assuming that everyone else is having the same experience.
And if you're having a hard time this year, be kind and gentle . . . to yourself. Take care of yourself and let others know how to take care of you. Show yourself some compassion and find someone else to show compassion to as well. And know that the original message of Christmas came to "those living in darkness," people like you.