Have a Holly, Jolly *insert your choice here*

Let’s face it: this time of year is not easy for a lot of people. There’s not a lot of joy and whether that’s because of past memories or current hurts, it doesn’t matter. It’s just not easy. I could sit here and write about how Jesus is the reason for the season and how we should make Christmas spirit last all year and all of that would be true. It wouldn’t have a lot of feeling behind it, though, because even though I do believe those things, I don’t like Christmas.

Feel free to take that in. I, who now own three pairs of the ugliest Christmas leggings you’ve ever laid eyes on, do not like Christmas. I, who delighted in watching her boys open their presents, do not like Christmas. I, who insisted on matching Christmas pajamas for said boys, do not like Christmas.

More specifically, I don’t like what Christmas does to some people. There’s a lot of hurtful situations that happen because of whatever twisted entitlement we seem to get at this time of year. Like it’s our own little gift to ourselves to revel in the knocking someone else down a peg or two. How does causing someone else pain translate to Christmas spirit?

We all know someone who dreads this time because of their relationship with their in-laws, or better yet, their own family. And whether the fear they’ve built up in their minds is real or imagined, it’s still there. On top of that, it would probably cease to exist if the words, “I’m so sorry” were ever uttered. Even though I tell Jaxen that I’m sorry doesn’t always cut it, I forget to mention that sometimes it does. Sometimes an admission of guilt and an acknowledgment of wrongdoing is all that is needed to feel cared for.

I was thinking today about those hurt by situations such as a loss. Since I’ve become a mommy, I’ve added a large number of other mommies to my innermost circle and in that circle, there has been loss. Loss of life that just flickered, loss of life that just began, loss of life that had run its course. I’d be ignorant to think that a simple “I’m sorry” would make up for the pain of the loss of time and love. Honestly, there probably isn’t a solution, let alone a good solution, to making this hurt stop. Maybe lessen, but I think the heart remembers for a reason. Perhaps it’s to help us develop empathy. Sometimes I think it’s just to humble us, to remind us we are only human.

I know that out in the world, there’s a huge debate on the correct verbiage at this time of year. I’ve heard arguments for just about every holiday greeting. I myself like “Merry Chrismakahkwanzaday” but I usually go with “Have a wonderful day.” To me, that’s how you create the Spirit of this time of year all year.

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