Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas we are used to hearing and saying. Yet at times, Christmas is far from merry. When Christmas isn’t merry, it creates unique challenges for everyone in the home – and in the family.
How can Christmas not be merry?
Great question. For me, it was the loss of my 20-year-old college aged son that created an empty seat at the Christmas table. For others, the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, niece or nephew, in-law, friend or child creates a hole begging to be filled and a seat at the table that remains empty.
A miscarriage or still-born baby leaves empty arms and broken hearts that desperately need healing, yet the hurt is so very real. That empty seat is a car seat. Deserted. Yes, many times these precious family members feel deserted. By God, by life, by family and friends who don’t know what to say, so they stay away.
So what do you say on that day when hearts are broken and feelings are frayed? I learned three things that matter.