The holiday season brings immense pressure—finding the perfect gift, attending the right party, portraying the ideal family for the Christmas card. Yet, when these expectations collide with reality, it’s not uncommon to find oneself less than happy during the holidays.
Perhaps it’s more than just holiday stress. You may be grappling with the absence of a loved one, whether through loss or choice, or facing the disappointment of shattered dreams, job loss, financial struggles, or an uncertain future. Putting on a facade of merriment while grappling with personal challenges can be overwhelming.
You’re not alone in this experience. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, 61% anticipate having a “Blue Christmas.” Reflect on that—most of us are bracing for sadness rather than embracing joy this Christmas. And you know what? That’s normal. Dysfunction in families, drama over trivial matters, feelings of loneliness and melancholy—these are all part of the norm. The reality is a celebration of the birth of God in human history juxtaposed with the disappointment of our imperfect lives.
Consider the Jewish community during the time of the First Noel—they likely faced similar harsh realities, living under the oppressive Roman empire, awaiting a Savior who hadn’t yet arrived, and dealing with personal struggles in marriages, flocks, and children. It’s the human experience.
Reflecting on the highs and lows of the year, both personally and professionally, can provide perspective. Yet, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for negative feelings. Recognizing that you are not alone, but rather part of the majority facing challenges, can prevent adding more sorrow to your struggles. The very essence of being imperfect humans in a fallen world, occasionally losing hope, is what Christ came to redeem.
Consider connecting with a supportive community, finding your tribe, and building relationships that can help you navigate the challenges of the coming year. Want to learn more? Click here.