Merry Christmas Anyway
To those whose days weren’t merry and bright. Those who paced the halls, instead of decking them, or, to those who got decked in the halls, because they didn’t know they needed to duck.
To those whose days are lit by the bare bulb of survival, a lone light shining dimly, earnestly, but dimly because there is so much dark to illuminate; and the light of hope seems to swing from the end of a tethered rope. Swing like a fragile idea swaying.
For those who didn’t make the nice list, and to those who did, but lost their present when Santa took a hard left and probably caused someone’s death, so now there’s that to deal with. On top of delivering presents to maybe 500 million children
For those who longed for a white Christmas, but got palm trees.
And to those who longed for family, but got
To the newly divorced, the separated, the dumped, the bereft.
The ones who bought and hid Christmas presents on a bright spring day in May.
I’m sorry you paid for a gift you can’t give; an unwanted excess.
To those who worked a delayed flight, the graveyard shift,
the police officers, EMT’s and Firefighters, the nurses.
To those who do what they must do, when they must do it.
To those whose package didn’t get delivered from Amazon, even though the payment seemed to make it just fine.
For those who can’t eat sugar cookies, because, gluten. Duh.
And to those who are allergic to dairy. And eggnog. And holiday cheer. Especially that.
You are not alone.
You share the company with the recently unemployed, children waiting for a new heart and displaced refugees You walk alongside widows going through the machine like motions of celebrating, relapsed alcoholics, and the person who just lost a pet.
You share it with the childless. The newly diagnosed. The cancer patients, and the homeless lady who favors Kris Kringle when she slings a black plastic trash bag over her shoulder so she can carry the weight of her world on her back.
To the mom who doesn’t have enough money to buy milk and cookies,
Let alone a lego set.
Whose days are not white, but muddy.
To the tone deaf,
the lost, to those who would rather forget than remember the 25th; a day to be endured
instead of enjoyed.
Merry Christmas anyway.
Yes. Merry Christmas, even though there are no sugarplums dancing over your head, or the sinful, heady scent of rolls rising.
I like to believe, one day there will be again.
A day when joy will partner with you,
instead of merely dancing over your head, taunting you with the sugary sweetness of unfulfilled dreams.
A day when hope bouncing like a toddler with golden glinting curls links arms with you,
pulls you onto the dance floor, helps you remember the steps.
In truth I am lucky.
I am blessed to remember how it felt to believe before despair ate away at the heart of faith; I remember the texture of happiness, magical nights when it wasn’t insomnia that kept me up; but excitement.
And that still dark morning, when an EZ bake oven was a waiting to be unwrapped.
And it was EZ. And sweet. And I baked a chocolate cake in a tiny heart shaped pan, and served everyone mouse size slices, still warm.
I am lucky to have tasted the sweet decadence of joy unwrapped, but now I crave it.
Which might be why its absence feels as cold as coal, as bland as sawdust.
But, I am also lucky to know I am not the first soul pining for a thrill of hope to lift the heavy weariness of night.
And so, to those who didn’t even bother to put up a tree; Be still anyway. Listen anyway.
Because the angel who said, “Fear not” was talking to you too.
Yes. Even you, muddy, harried, un-jolly YOU are allowed to yield to glad tithings of great joy.
Because what’s happening now, has no power over what happened then.
But what happened then, holds all the power over what happens now.
So even if Blitzen accidentally took out Donnar’s eye when he was shaking his antlers causing Donnar to misjudge the landing, resulting in Santa having a heart attack in your front yard, and dying because you didn’t think to purchase a home AED device and you couldn’t call 911 because your kids take every single phone charger within a 20 mile radius, and never give it back, so your phone is…as dead as Santa.
Yes. Even then.
Pause. Breath. And remember that Angels were singing, because the Christ Child was born.