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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Jordan

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year ...

...but, not for everyone.

I have always loved Christmas. Our family grew up enjoying the tradition of the season, but also knowing that, most of all, we were commemorating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our family put up a Christmas tree (for a few years, we put up two trees), filled it with lights and sentimental ornaments, and, one year, we put candles in every window of the house. We could never convince my father to get up on a ladder and string lights around the house, though. The longest we kept the tree up was through the middle of February one year. It was the best: we would turn all of the lights off in the living room and turn the Christmas tree on every night. It was like a movie theater and Christmas time for months on end. I loved it.

We made our rounds to family and friends' homes. As we got older, we started to have family dinner at home. We wanted to spend as much time together as we could, since our gatherings were becoming fewer and farther in between as we became adults and went off to college. Now, things are completely different. It's been a few years since I put up a tree. I still love the season and I recognize that it doesn't bring the same happy feelings that it has in the past. I find myself thinking about all the people who want to feel better because things are festive and jolly or, at least, they are supposed to be. However, they just can't find the joy that seems so easily accessible to most people.

My family Christmas will never be like I remember it. My father spends Christmas with his other family. My brother works quite a bit and can't always make it home to celebrate. A lot of times, it's me and my mom. This year, my husband will be with us which is wonderful. Still, I feel sad and a little down. I realize that grief seems to always be looming. Some days/seasons/holidays mean that grief is more prevalent than other times, even though it's always there to some degree. I've learned that I am not alone in struggling during what others would consider the happiest season of all. I've become more sensitive to others' pain that can only be exacerbated by a time of year when the missing piece or point of contention becomes more apparent than another regular day.

I am thankful for my family as it is and for all that God has brought me through up until this point. And, I am still processing my pain, just like so many others. If that is you - I wish you comfort, peace, and joy ... whether it comes all at once or in small doses. I hope you make it through the hard days of this season and are able to come through on the other side. I pray that you give yourself grace and don't feel obligated to feel happy like everyone else feels. I pray that even though you are wishing or hoping for something that just can't be, that you find the blessing that is there despite the hardship.

I wish you the love of Jesus in your heart and that His peace cover your mind. I wish you a Happy Holiday season. I wish that you hold on!

With love always and until next time friends,

Courtney xoxo

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