This song was made popular by Andy Williams in 1963 and has been a huge hit and traditional Christmas song since. Yet, for many, Christmas is such a lonely, depressing time. According to the National Institute of Health, “Christmas is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report high incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.”
What a tragedy! When we should be the most joy-filled, many are sad. How can we get through the holidays joyfully? May I offer a few suggestions:
- Don’t buy into the “perfect Christmas” media portrays families as having. The truth is there is no perfect Christmas. Problems come and disappointments happen in every family. The perfect holiday gift sometimes can’t be found. And, decorations just don’t turn out like we had wanted. That is just life. Life happens.
- Be grateful for what you have and don’t focus on what you do not have. We all want family to be together at Christmas but sometimes it just can’t happen. Obligations and distance often keep families apart. Try to settle on a phone call until a visit can take place. One of the very hardest things to deal with at Christmas is having to experience the loneliness due to the loss of someone dear. In this instance, try to imagine what kind of Christmas will they have this year if they are in the presence of the Lord!
- Try to spend some time making others happy. Giving of one’s time, cooking a dish for a shut-in or doing something for someone who can’t do it for themselves is a sure fire way to get into the Spirit of Christmas.
- Finally, focus your thoughts on the real meaning of Christmas. Imagine, God loved us so much that He wrapped His Son, the GREATEST Christmas present, in swaddling clothes so He could be the Savior of the world.
There are so many opportunities to really enjoy Christmas: a Children’s Christmas play, a band concert, a cantata, caroling to shut-ins and the list goes on. All of these events will be taking place at Bear Creek Baptist Church, and all of our sister Churches, over the next 6 weeks and I can hardly wait.
May you have the greatest Christmas ever! May you be well and your family able to spend time together over the Holidays. May you experience the Lord in such a powerful, gentle way as He communicates His love to you this Christmas.
From my family to yours, “Merry Christmas!”