Every year we hear that the holiday season is a difficult time for many people. Some have bad memories of Christmases past. Some don’t have family or friends around them at the time of year when it’s most expected and desired.
If you fall into either or both of these categories, my heart goes out to you. I can empathize only a bit. My loved ones are so spread out, it’s impossible to have everyone together. Every year I have to make a tough choice, and it’s never a perfect one. Still, I’m grateful for happy memories and the pleasure of celebrating with some family and friends. I realize that I have it better than many people.
As we know it today, Christmas is a time of giving, eating, and other ways of celebrating. That’s why it’s hard for some — they don’t have wonderful people in their life to share it with. I want to offer you more than my sympathy. I want to dispel a couple of myths about Christmas and give you a new way to think about it.
Myth #1: Christmas Is Family Time
While gathering with family and celebrating together is certainly a great idea, it’s just a tradition and not a “necessity.” If family time is not part of your experience, there’s still a reason for Christmas joy. Keep reading to see what that reason is.
Myth #2: Christmas Is a Christian Holiday
As I read the story of Jesus’ birth this week, this part stood out to me: “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.“ That’s what the angel said to the shepherds. The angel didn’t bring news that’s a source of joy just for Jews or Christians. It’s a source of joy for all people. That’s you and me and my neighbor and your cousin and my tax preparer and your mail carrier. All people.
Joy to the World
Christmas is for all people. That’s because it’s about the news. The news isn’t that Macy’s is having a sale or that Grandma is bringing the apple pie. It isn’t that the flights are on time or that Uncle Kevin is bringing his new girlfriend to Christmas dinner.
Here’s what the angel said: “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today.“
Even if you’re alone this Christmas, this news can bring you joy. Even if you’re not a Christian, this news can bring you joy. If you’re a person, this news can bring you joy. I could go on and on about why that is, but I invite you to think about it. Consider why this should be a source of joy for you. If you want to chat about it, leave a comment below or drop me a line. It’s my favorite thing to talk about.
Want to have a merry Christmas? Don’t look to celebrations, presents, friends, or even family. Consider the news and why it can be a source of joy for all people, including you.