It’s okay if the holidays aren’t so happy this year. It’s okay if you still haven’t put up your Christmas tree or lined your weary house with happy twinkling lights. It’s okay if your living room isn’t color coordinated in red and green or if eager-to-be-filled stockings are still collecting dust in a box because the thought of them flopping above a cold fireplace is too disheartening.
It’s okay if the holidays aren’t so happy this year. It’s okay if you haven’t made it to your lonely couch and binge-watched Christmas movies that used to bring you joy. It’s okay if a gingerbread house has no appeal to you during this time.
It’s okay if the holidays aren’t so happy this year. It’s okay if the lighting of candles has a much deeper significance this year. It’s okay if looking at empty seats around the once-joyous table pricks your eyes with tears.
It’s okay if the holidays aren’t so happy this year. It’s okay if this isn’t the first year that the holidays brought a cloud of sorrow and loneliness into your home. It’s okay if you are feeling the ghost of grief on a night that used to be filled with the sounds of jolly laughter.
It’s okay if the holidays aren’t so happy this year because truthfully, they shouldn’t feel the same as every other year. This year, the world has felt collective tragedy and we know in our hearts that there is still more loss to be endured. So, when we light up our Christmas trees and sit down for holiday meals, we carry the memories of those we have lost and keep in mind the people who feel they have nothing to celebrate this year.
The holidays probably won’t be so happy this year. We will look at our gifts with guilt-ridden faces and our meals won’t taste like a delicious bite of home. But we will also look at the faces that surround us with a deeper level of love and appreciation than we have ever had before during the holidays. We will miss our loved ones, we will ache over the hardships this year has brought into our lives but we will be grateful to have gotten to see another brightly lit Christmas tree or flickering Menorah.
And we will know in our hearts that there is still hope for the future.