Whether you say Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, the fleeting weeks beginning with Thanksgiving and ending at the New Year are a time of celebration, activity, music, joy and . . . sadness.
Part of being a human, and living on this earth, means that you will never be 100 percent happy, all the time, because even in our most joyous moments, we are vaguely aware that good times, eventually, come to an end. Time marches on, the gift wrapping gets thrown away, and it’s back to the office on Monday morning.
Many people enter into the holiday season acutely aware of a loss — recent or distant — of someone who meant a lot to them. In the midst of serving pumpkin pie they remember that, not too long ago, someone else used to serve the pie, but she or he isn’t with everybody this year.
People die. Children grow up and away. Schedules change. Weather closes roads. For some reason or another, during this season when family — and being with family — means so very much to us, we can’t always have what we long for. And that makes us feel sad.
But we’re gutsy people, we human beings, and in the midst of sadness we grab for and bask in the happiness we can find. Yes, somebody is missing this year, but so many of the rest of us are together. Let us talk about and remember that person who is missing, and let us honor them by just loving them, praying for them if they are alive, thanking God for the time we had with them if they are not.
My Thanksgiving gift to you, my good and gracious readers, is the article Surviving the Holidays, at my BeliefNet column Commonsense Christianity. If you, like so many people, look forward to the next six weeks with a combination of hope, yet dread, then please read this story. I have written it for you, and I send with it my prayers for your peace.
Happy Thanksgiving. — Carolyn