December 16, 2021
Growing up, I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks, and this was one of my favorite songs. To be honest, it still tickles me to hear Dave scream, “Alvin!!!!” throughout the song. If you’ve never heard it, take a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdN_8OlJGs0.
Christmas time is near and with it comes time spent with loved ones, wonderful eats and treats, and special memories from the near and distant past. And while the specifics of the season may fade over time, the emotional ties to Christmas — the memories, good, bad, or indifferent — remain strong. This can lead many, including me, to experience feelings of nostalgia.
As I consider this time of joy and cheer, I feel sentimental about childhood moments spent fighting sleep on Christmas Eve in order to experience Santa’s deliveries in person. In addition, I remember family time spent bowling on the Wii and sitting on my dad’s staircase singing a Christmas duet with him in full holiday regalia.
Yes, there is much joy and cheer attached to the Christmas season.
At the same time, Christmas 2021 brings with it an 9-year-long ache for my mom and a newfound one for my dad, both of whom are now deceased. On top of that, I can’t help but think about others who may be wrestling with feelings of sadness and loneliness associated with living life in the midst of a pandemic, all the while facing typical day-to-day stressors.
Just the other day, I found myself in conversation with a woman in the grocery store about how difficult the upcoming holiday would be. She reflected on the challenge of being exposed to images of celebrations on TV, particularly because she wouldn’t be able to visit family in a different state. And her discontent made perfect sense. It’s not uncommon for us to feel like everyone else is celebrating throughout the Christmas season when we feel alone. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has done nothing to temper somber emotions as we prepare for the holiday.
The interaction with her challenged me to consider ways to uplift not only others, but also myself.
Friend, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one this Christmas season, you are not alone. If you’re feeling alone, challenged by life in a pandemic, I see you. And if sadness is overriding joy and cheer, that’s understandable.
2021 has continued to press us in so many ways. However, you’re still here, with just a few days left in the year.
I challenge you to both honor your feelings and explore (perhaps) new ways of moving through the Christmas season.
Will you feel joy and cheer? Maybe not. You will, however, be taking steps to improve your emotional well-being and ability to more healthily navigate the holiday.
I’d love to hear your take-aways …