This morning I was listening to a podcast where the guest made an off-hand comment that drugs – and money, the host added – make people more extreme versions of themselves. Whether or not this is true for drugs and money, it seems to be true for the Christmas season.
This is a season in which we feel things more deeply. The grief in our life rises to the surface. Simple joys feel richer. Losses and longings have more weight. The warmth of what holds us dear glows brighter. The coldness that separates us from others, and ourselves, intensifies. Relational complexities get more complex. It doesn’t help that all this takes place during the darkest days of the year.
This is our common lot. The drug of the Christmas season.
Just naming and recognizing this is a helpful first step.
My hope for myself and you is that we can receive all of these things as some form of a gift. To grieve means we have loved. To long for something or someone not present is to experience the pull of our humanity lunging us toward more of what makes life full and meaningful. To find warmth in something so small as a gesture of kindness is to have our eyes open to what is there all along.
Peace, comfort, or just a satisfactory survival to you this season,