This is the official holiday kick off week with Thanksgiving and then the countdown to Christmas. The next six weeks are full of joy for many but for many there can be pain, loneliness, and depression. The images and memories (most exaggerated) of the holidays are of beautifully decorated homes, perfectly prepared meals, smiling children, families who all love each other and are so happy to be together. For most if not all of us, this just isn’t reality.
The first holiday season after my mother died was so painful. I remember many tears that first Christmas. That was 23 years ago, and since that time my husband keeps a list of all those we know who have lost a loved one during the year. During the holidays, he writes them a personal note to let them know he is praying for them in their first Christmas without their loved one. His letter has meant so much to so many over these years. It is such a blessing to people when you just remember that they will be grieving and sad during the holidays.
There is much to celebrate and much to be thankful for this season. Lower your picture perfect expectations and enjoy the time with family and friends. But make room this season to include some that may be overlooked. Remember those that are hurting this season and maybe send them a letter, call them, or drop by for a visit just to let them know you care. Your touch can make a world of difference this season. So let your first Thanksgiving list and your first Christmas list, be a list of those to remember.Remember those that are hurting this season and do something thoughtful to let them know you care. Click To Tweet
5 People to Remember This Holiday Season:
- Anyone who is grieving this season.
I’m sure you know a friend or loved one who has lost a loved one this past year. If this is their first Thanksgiving and Christmas without them, it will be hard. Or maybe you have a friend who is separated or who recently got divorced from their spouse. The holidays won’t feel so joyful this year and they will need a good friend.
- Our military families.
This season, there will be many whose spouses are serving our country and they won’t be home for Christmas. Help fill in the gaps by inviting them to a holiday event or over to your house for a meal.
- The elderly living alone.
This may be their first year or fifth year without their spouse. Or their spouse may be in a special care center for health reasons or this may be their first year in a nursing home.
- Those living far away from family.
It could be a college student or young married couple who simply can’t afford to go home. Last Christmas, we were able to send a young man home to surprise his parents for Christmas. I think this blessed us more than him. Just the thought of that Mom’s joy in seeing her son stayed with me all season.
- Missionaries on the field and their families back home.
I’ll never forget the first Christmas our children were in Thailand and we weren’t able to be together physically. Our faith grew during this time and our hearts have become more tender for those who are experiencing the same.
There are so many others to remember (those in prison, in the hospital, lost a job, etc.). Ask God to open your eyes to see someone who needs to be remembered and loved on this season.
Who else should we remember this season?
“In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35