If You’re Struggling During the Holidays, Please Read This – PJ Media

I wrote this column ten years ago during a busy and stressful time in my life. I post it here again because I know that Christmas can be difficult for many. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, received a devastating diagnosis, or have unresolved family problems that threaten to erupt. And then there’s the news — “wars and rumors of wars,” our dysfunctional government, rampant crime, and even genocide in Israel. Whatever difficulties you’re facing, whatever pain you’re going through—at a time when everyone seems to be joyful and smiling — I pray that you will find hope in God’s word and a classic Christmas hymn, “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing.” The true meaning of Christmas is about how we can have peace — with God. 


As I write this, I am perched on the edge of a Christmas “celebration” threatening to become a cross between “Christmas with the Cranks” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”—complete with a Something-of-the-Month-Club gift for my husband, purchased online tonight due to my procrastination). My in-laws will be arriving in a matter of hours, and the turkey is taking a leisurely candlelight bath in the kitchen sink right now because I neglected to take it out of the freezer 3-4 days before Christmas Eve as recommended. It is currently suitable only for bowling. The ham is in another county, caught in an internecine family “misunderstanding,” which may result in the turkey flying solo on the big day. The presents are unwrapped, not a single cookie has graced my oven, and I am seriously considering punting on my one Christmas Day contribution to my family’s celebration — the dessert.

In addition to the food and gifts and unsent Christmas cards — okay, no, I did not even purchase cards, let alone address and mail them, and while we are on the subject, I cannot even bear to open another one of those braggy Christmas newsletters to hear about everyone’s perfect life — and now I’ve lost my train of thought. This is what the Christmas “festivities” can do to a person.

Add to all of this the heaviness in my heart for friends and family members who are struggling during what should be a joyous time of year — grieving lost loved ones, dealing with parents in the hospital and in nursing homes, struggling with health issues and marital difficulties. And then there is the migraine monster that battles for control of my head and my life. Will this second round of steroids knock out this two-week cycle?

When my husband walked in without the ham, I lost it. By lost it, I mean I completely checked out. I went for a drive, came home, and sat in the car in the cold garage on my own personal pity pot for a very long time. I let calls about tomorrow’s plans go to voice mail and then shut my phone off.

So, Merry Christmas, right?

As I desperately worked on an attitude adjustment tonight, I realized that the problems are not Christmas cookies and syrupy Christmas letters or even a ham that is MIA.

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