Ho-hum holiday attitude isn’t sinful, it’s just a seasonal struggle

 By Kay Braddock

        Bah, Humbug! 

Okay, maybe I’m not quite to that extreme, but I’m as close to the Ebenezer Scrooge outlook as I’ve ever been. 
The holiday season is in full swing, accompanied by all of the jolly sights and sounds. Houses are aglow, Christmas carols dance in the air, and the sparkling shimmers of red, green, gold and silver garland seem to adorn every nook, cranny and entrance of homes and businesses. 
Christmas and all of the joys this season typically brings has arrived. 
And yet, this year, the magic of the season seems just a little too elusive. 
There is no antagonism towards the season - no meanness, anger or resentment towards those who are enjoying their holiday cheer. 
I’m simply, just not feeling it.
I suspect, there may be a number of others, silently milling about - dodging cheerful salutations, avoiding prominent seasonal promotions - who have become accustomed to using the guise of dutiful, daily tasks as they work their way through, what has come to be, a difficult time of year.
It’s not as though the joys of the season are entirely missed. Nor is the understanding of what this time of year signifies to believers unappreciated. It’s more like a numbing emptiness that pervades every holiday activity, resulting in an underlying ho-hum struggle to simply get through the season.
To admit this lackluster holiday sentiment almost seems sinful, definitely wrong and certainly not Christian. But regardless of its appropriateness, or correctness, the feeling exists and its existence is worthy of consideration.
Consider that for many – for whatever reason – this time of year has come to denote more emptiness than cheerfulness. Understanding that people hurt, whether it’s a consequence of self-inflicted acts or a result of unforeseen losses. Pain is felt and sometimes the seemingly boundless cheerfulness of the season only intensifies that emotion, rather than soothing it.
It isn’t wrong to hurt. It isn’t sinful to feel more pain now, during the Christmas season, than it is at any other time of year. In actuality it is at this time of season – above all others – that a covering of grace should be extended. A grace that covers the cheerful heart and the hurting one too. A grace that understands the ho-hum holiday attitude and says, “I’ll walk with you through this phase.” It’s the same grace that gives worthiness to the unworthy, love to the unlovely and extends forgiveness to the unforgivable. 
And it’s because of this grace, that I believe – I believe.

Published Dec. 9, 2009

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