It's the most wonderful time of the year. It really is. Celebrating Jesus. Family. Friends. Caramel corn. Everything about Christmas is magical. I love it. Love it all.
We tend to get so caught up in the crazy, wonderful activities around the holidays. Dinners, parties, gifts, etc. It's easy to forget that it can be a hard time for some people.
While Christmas holds so much joy for many, it can be a reminder of loneliness for others. When I moved back to Montana, I had to spend the holidays without my family for the first time in years. I'll be honest. I spent those first two Christmas Eves getting drunk. It was a time in my life when I was re-establishing my faith in God, but when December hit, I was a tsunami of emotions. I was alone during a time that people normally spend with those they love. And I had no one. So I drank, and drank, and drank. Fantastic solution.
Things have changed, not to say it's easy to be approaching my fifth Christmas in a row 1200 miles away from my family, but I now have an amazing support system of friends...and a tiny, two-person family of my own.
I don't know how I would have made it these past years without the wonderful friends God has placed in my life.
I'd like to issue a challenge this Christmas. Be that person. The one who makes a difference in a lonely person's life. Go out of your way to invite someone to your holiday celebrations this year, or make them dinner sometime this month. You have no idea how a simple gesture can pull a grateful soul out of the pit of December depression. To know that someone cares, someone wants you around during such a special time, that goes a long way.
Now, don't get caught up on the semantics of this challenge. Lonely can describe so many people at this time of year. Don't look specifically for someone without family close by. Find someone who has recently been dumped, lost their job, had a loved one pass away, or someone who is just plain separated from Jesus. We all know a person that is going through something difficult during the holidays. Be the person that helps them get to their feet and carry on.
2013 Pre-Christmas family time was great: