As a kid, Christmas was one of the most encouraging times of the year. I knew my family loved me. I knew God loved me. Presents didn’t hurt either.

As I have grown older Christmas is still very special to me but things have changed. The desire for the presents has diminished. And a new visitor has arrived. One I had never seen around the table for Christmas dinner before.

Grief.

Many of us wrestle with grief at this time of year. Maybe you are like me and lost dear loved ones at Christmas time, years past. Or maybe there are other things you have lost or never had to begin with that Christmas shines a great big spotlight on, reminding you year after year of what you never had or what you had and lost.

There are a lot of reminders of loss this time of year. We shouldn’t ignore them but they aren’t the WHOLE story either. We need to pay attention to our blessings, while also paying special mind to the feelings of loss, grief, etc.

Christmas isn’t either a happy holiday or a sad one. It can be both at the same time. Much like the lament psalms, what begins on a note of despair can end on a note of joy.

If you are feeling down this Christmas, I encourage you to talk with someone about that. Email me if you like. I also encourage you to look more and more for the good because it is all around too.

We will never get back many of the people, things and ideas we have lost over the years but we can embrace new blessings, new opportunities and fresh starts.

I wish you God’s richest blessings this Christmas even if they come through periodic tears.