Today is the Monday before Thanksgiving, which means that we are now moving into the holiday season. Thanksgiving will be here Thursday. That will be followed by Black Friday, the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Eventually December 25th, Christmas, will get here, and one week later January 1st, New Year’s Day, will as well. All this means that for the next five weeks or so there will be a whole lot of family gatherings, feasting, shopping, gift giving, gift receiving, parties, and good times. Most people name this time of year as their favorite, and the better a year you’ve had the more thankful and merry you’ll be I suppose.
But as we launch forth here into the season, I’d like to use today’s post to remind you that some people have had a tough year. Maybe they experienced the death of a loved one this year. Maybe they’ve been sick themselves most of the year. Maybe their marriage ended in divorce this year. Maybe they’ve spent the year unemployed. Maybe they’ve watched a dream die this year. The list is pretty lengthy of the things that can turn a year crappy, and those things don’t all magically disappear around a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas tree, or watching a ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. And all I’m asking you to do is be sensitive to such matters. Strive to live out the words of Romans 12:15:
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
For a long time now we’ve heard that there are more suicides during the Christmas season than at any other time of the year. Frankly, I’m not sure if there has ever been a scientific study done on that or if somebody just said it once and everybody else took it as factual. But what I do know is that this whole time of year is hard on a lot of folks. So, if you know someone who isn’t exactly on top of the world these days, do something nice for them during the holidays. Give them a call. Send them a handwritten card. Send them a nice email. Invite them over for a meal. Take them out for lunch. The choice is yours, but do something.
But what if you happen to be the person whose life is in the dumps right now? Well, instead of focusing on all the negative stuff in your life, as real as it is, focus on all the positive stuff, because it’s just as real. That doesn’t come easily for most of us and you’ll probably have to work at it, but I promise you that putting in that work will help you. Someone has said that we walk around depressed because we count our blessings on our fingers and our miseries on our calculators. So, this holiday season use your calculator to count your blessings. They are there, I assure you. You just have to see them for what they are.