The preparations heat up, and for many, Christmas is eagerly anticipated, but for others, mixed feelings throw a thick, gray cloud cover over the month.
Let's face it--not everyone enjoys the holidays. There are hearts that rip open every December. The onslaught of merry music sounds shrill, the endless Christmas miracles on television movies don't help, and there's a vague feeling of, shouldn't I be enjoying this more?
I understand. I've been there. Christmas usually brings me joy, but I've had years where I've gone through the motions, not quite knowing why the cheer skipped me that season.
Christmas magnifies how we feel life should be as opposed to how it really is.
So many people deal with broken families, sad memories of past Christmases, loneliness, tragedies, and depression. My heart goes out to all who want that "perfect Christmas" but for circumstances beyond their control, must settle for getting through Christmas.
Today's one-minute vacation is this:
It's okay to have mixed feelings.
It's okay to cringe at happy Christmas letters.
It's okay to not want to throw another five bucks into the charity-of-the-week collection at work.
It's okay to get McDonald's for dinner because you're too tired to make a meal.
It's okay to buy store-bought cookies.
It's okay to turn off the made-for-television Christmas movies and watch horror films.
It's okay not to donate a dollar as you check-out at stores.
It's okay to jam to sad songs instead of the Christmas music station.
It's okay to tell yourself "it's just 24 hours," when you're dreading a strained-extended family Christmas party.
It's okay to buy two boxes of chocolates for yourself.
It's okay to skip gift-wrapping and buy gift bags for every present.
It's okay if your kids get on your nerves within three hours of being out of school for Christmas vacation.
We do not live in a perfect world. It's full of sin and pain and hard things.
It's also full of people who want to help, who truly care, whose heart breaks at the thought of anyone being sad or alone at Christmas.
Let's not be too hard on ourselves this time of year.
Do you struggle with mixed feelings this time of year? How do you deal with them?
Have a fabulous Monday!