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Season of mixed emotions PDF Print E-mail

Christmas, my favorite holiday, is just days away, and I’m sure a multitude of people are just like me—stuck in a whirlwind of things I must do vs want to do. 

What I must do is go to work, keep up with laundry, and attend events. What I “want” to do is stay home and bake, decorate the tree, write cards to my out-of-state friends, and curl up with my Bible to read the wonderful story one more time. 

When I think about Christmas, my heart leaps with joy because I’ll be with family—my new husband, kids and grandkids, Mom and my sisters and families. 

Thinking about being with loved ones—talking, laughing and eating non-stop gets me so excited...but then those thoughts always take my heart to a different place. 

What about those who don’t have families? What about those who don’t have warm homes? What about those who grieve for loved ones? What about the needy who won’t have abundant food? What about kids who won’t have anything under the tree? 

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year. Sadly, for many, it’s lonely and painful. 

I have friends who have lost their loved ones within the past few weeks. All at once their holidays have taken on a new meaning...sadness has replaced the expectations of the season. 

I know people who don’t have the resources to buy gifts for their children, or create a wonderful meal, or adequately heat their homes, or warmly dress themselves and their family.

There’s always a feeling of guilt that nags at me this time of year. It’s so easy to go shopping and pick up this little thing, that little thing, adding to the pile of gifts already tucked away. 

Even though I do give to the Salvation Army kettles, and give to the church, and give to the Angel Tree, etc., there is an overwhelming need out there that I feel I can’t even make a dent in. There are so many families struggling to stay afloat. 

One of the best projects our county has had in a long time is the coat drive sponsored by the junior high student council. What a terrific “feel-good” type of event for the season. And perfect timing too, with the cold snap we’re in.

The thing is, looking at the need as a whole is overwhelming. Looking at it and knowing that if everyone does a little bit, everything somehow gets covered— and a surprising number of families will have joy in their hearts and homes because of the generosity of others.

We live in a very caring, loving, giving community. When I pick up area or regional newspapers, I realize every other community for miles around us and clear across the nation and throughout the world has people just like us with the true meaning of Christmas in their hearts. 

So even though there will never be an end to the hurts in life, we as Christians can continue to lift up someone who will see the gesture for what it truly is—a special blessing from God during the season He so lovingly created for us.

Jan Rahn