Christmas is just around the corner…
By Daniel Moran
Depending on one’s perspective, Christmas can be a wonderfully happy time of year, or the holidays can be filled with sadness. Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus, should be a time to be filled with hope for eternity
For those who have lost a mom or a dad, a child, a spouse or friend in 2017, the joy of Christmas will be somewhat overshadowed by the sadness of such a loss. But for those who truly believe in the grace and mercy of God, Christmas can be wonderful…even if someone you loved died. For, you see, we all want to go to heaven but few of us want to do the things that are necessary to get there: believe in Jesus and die.
I believe our date of death was pre-ordained. We should all do the best we can each day since none of us know when we will depart this world. We should all enjoy our favorite Christmas carols, and savor the flavor of candy canes and cookies. We should all learn how to give without expectations, and learn how to graciously receive with a simple ‘thanks’. All hearts seem a little more caring during the month of December. When Nat King Cole sings ”chestnuts roasting on an open fire” or “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, how can we not be transported to all of our yesteryears of love and family, surrounded by the smells of turkey and pie and, dare I say, fruit cake?
Those who have passed away, whether this past year or in years past, remembering the good times can help to balance out the sadness of their not being with us, in the flesh, this year. Think of the special gift that had so much meaning that only that loved one would have known enough about you to give it to you. Think of the hugs by a fireplace, or the sledding or skating that made any given Christmas in your life together a Christmas to remember.
Nothing will ever take the place of those special people in your lives, nor should anything be so overpowering that those times could be replaced. There is room in each of our hearts to look back at the first kiss from our mate, the first smell of our first baby, the 60th anniversary or the first anniversary with that someone special. I believe that is one of the best benefits of being human. God gave us the ability to feel with our hearts besides just feeling with our hands. He gave us billions of storage cells in our brains where each special moment could be captured and pulled out as a memory when we need to feel good, even in our loss of a loved one.
Did you ever notice that a smell, or a song, or a sunset can take us right back to an important time in our lives? My father’s favorite song was “Oh my Papa.” That was sung back in the ‘50’s but to this day, when I hear it, I am immediately transported back to a time that Dad was holding my hand. He did not spend his time saying I love you. He lived his “I love you’s”. Too bad I only had him for the first 11 years of my life. Yet, though he is gone, his impact was such that, even in the many Christmas’s that have come and gone since he died, I still know him. I still feel him. I still love him and know that he is in heaven rooting for me. And that is a good feeling.
So, yes, Christmas will be sad for many this year because of the loss of a special person in their life, but I ask all who read this article to cry your tears and offer your pain up to God. Know that your heroes, your lost loves, your reasons for living are alive and sitting at the table of our Lord, just waiting for you to join them when your appointed time comes. You will feel their presence when you pull good Christmas memories from your very smart brain. Love the ones you are with and cherish the time that you have with your husband, or wife, or parent, sibling, children and friends. There is lots of room left in your heart to store up great moments of joy so you will be able to give and get a spiritual hug whenever you need it. It is up to you to build those precious moments that can be drawn upon as needed after a loved one is gone.
God bless you all and I pray for your happiness, good health and prosperity for the coming year.