It’s the week leading up to Christmas Day. The hustle and bustle is apparent; stress vividly displayed on mother’s touting their toddlers in and out of stores while carrying five bags of more needed stuff, pine trees sparkle with tinsel and homemade ornaments, the Christmas carols blast from your radio station. It truly is the “hap-happiest season of all”.
But for many it isn’t.
Last week a family lost their 18 year old son to suicide. It’s somebody else’s first Christmas without their mom or their brother or sister or grandparent. It’s someone’s first Christmas away from their family because they got deployed. It’s someone else’s first Christmas homeless. Or without a job. Or with cancer.
I don’t say these things to bring your spirits down, but rather to see the reality of people’s lives around us. The Christmas season can be the “hap-happiest season” for many, but for many that are suffering or have a void in their lives, it’s a difficult season to navigate.
Leading up to Christmas we have the winter solstice. Today is the shortest day of the year. The sun rises late and sets early. The Christ Child comes to us at the darkest time of the year, just when we need a little bit of light, the light that will illuminate our hearts and lives.
Spread that light of the Christ Child this year to a stranger, someone you know that is suffering. Give them the gift of your faith through your unending prayers and sacrifices. Visit the homeless. Serve at a soup kitchen. Visit the widow who just lost his/her spouse. Give a gift anonymously to a family that is in need. It’s not too late. It’s never too late. The smallest act of kindness is the lighted candle that will break into the darkness of those who suffer.
What Christmas gift will you give this year? Who will you share the light of Christ with this season?