Friday, December 18, 2009

Be of Good Cheer

This year is the second in a row that I will be alone on Christmas Day. Last year I braved the weather and thankfully made it to Vegas for Christmas by myself. Though I was alone, I enjoyed my stay and it kept my mind busy. It wasn't bad.

Again, this year, I will be alone. Circumstances have not made it possible that I get to see my son and new granddaughter on the 25th, so I'm planning once again for day alone. I don't have room in my apartment for a Christmas tree, so there are no decorations except for some tinsel and lights across my fireplace mantel.

When Christmas morning arrives, there will be no husband next to me in bed to wake up with, and no pitter-patter of anxious little feet that can't wait for the rising of the morning sun. There will be no ripping of wrapping paper off presents, or squeals of joy or moans of disappointments filling my apartment over given gifts. Dinner time will arrive, and my dining table will be empty and no aroma of turkey will fill the air. Probably the only thing I'll hear is the buzzer from the microwave telling me my frozen dinner is done.

It's times like these I often don't think people who have it all realize how blessed they really are. I hear so many complain about the holidays and all that comes with it - family, shopping, dinners, and stress - while I, who have none of it, look at wonderment and envy at their lives.

What will I do with myself? I guess Christmas eve I will go to church and enjoy the beauty of Christmas in a gorgeous building with lighted candles. I'll watch families sitting together as they sing Christmas carols. I'll probably feel a pang of loneliness, like I usually do, struggling with the moment alone.

I am reminded, however, that Christmas is a time to be of good cheer, and I refuse to feel sorry for myself. After all, that is what Christmas is all about!

"Behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord."

So come Christmas morning when the world around me is enjoying time with family and those they love, I'll get up like I do every day. I'll wander around my 625 sq ft apartment with coffee in hand, let the dog out, check the weather, and eventually get dressed for the day. Perhaps I'll go to the show later on, write a few chapters, call my brother in Michigan, wait for my son to call, and then remember in the silence of my apartment that I'm not really alone.

Above all, I will remind myself to be of good cheer and reflect on the reason for the season that it's not about me and my situation - it's about Jesus.