When Christmas isn't Joyful
Whether tragedy, loneliness, illness, or stress keeps Christmas from bringing joy, take comfort in knowing you aren't alone. The holidays are difficult for a lot of people.
Are you dealing with a first Christmas without a loved one? Without a job? Without hope? Take comfort in the One who loves you most. Put your heart in His hands and trust Him to walk you through.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
The worst thing for holiday blues? Isolation. Locking yourself away, hiding in bed, and cutting yourself off from the rest of the world compounds depression.
Even though reaching out to someone else is hard when we are exhausted by grief or stress, doing for others provides the best way to move beyond our own struggles. Blessing another person carries its own joy--a different kind of joy than baking and wrapping and donning a Santa sweater.
If you are inching through the holidays this year, praying for January 2nd, step out of your circle of despair and do one nice thing for someone else. Here are ten easy ideas.
1. Send an e-card to someone who is struggling.
2. Pay for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.
3. Double your donation to the Salvation Army bucket.
4. Pray for others who are struggling before you pray for yourself.
5. Put on Christmas for a family in need.
6. Make a list of what you love about someone and include it in their Christmas card.
7. Smile at the elderly man who greets you at Wal-mart and ask about his family.
8. Get involved in a charity event.
9. Serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter.
10. Make a meal or pick up a meal and take it to another person just because.