Take it all down; Christmas is over.

Oh, no more lights glistening, no more carols to sing.

This is for the ones who hate Christmas, and for good reason. You, for whom the Christmas season and all that comes a long with it is a hard, difficult time. For those of you that say, Finally, when calendar shows December 26th.

This is for you, who breathe a sigh of relief when the focus on family, fellowship, busyness, gift-giving, and general holiday hustle fades away. You, who sit in a gently lit room and retreat after holiday company leaves. You, who cry alone and unplug the Christmas lights. You, who lament your losses of loved ones and grieves the pain you’ve suffered this time of year, time and time again. For you, who spend Decembers saving face: beloved, let that weary smile fall from your lips.

To those of you who spend Christmas fighting back tears and choking back grief or guilt, I say: Take a deep breath. This season of night after longest night is on its way out the door.

I also say: rest and remember that Advent–and every season that precedes or follows–has room enough for your pain and grief. The world may tell you to stifle your sadness, to grin and bear it; you see, the world does not know what to do with the heavy truth of your pain or suffering, so pay the world no mind.

Look instead to the Christ Child.

Even amidst the Rejoice, rejoice! and the comfort and joys of Christmas, the Lord Himself has made room for your story–yes, even a story of sorrow and sadness. You see, the babe whose birth we celebrate each year will grow into the Man of Sorrows, one well acquainted with grief.

The hearts of man are bitter in winter, as cold as the snow that falls from above.

Praise the Lord that he has heard your cry, that the Christ Child becomes our Mighty Counselor, Emmanuel, and knows of your pain and grieves with you, for you. He has borne your griefs as well as your gladness, your sorrows and your celebrations alike.

Oh, no more lights glistening, and no more carols to sing. But Christmas makes way for spring.

It is because of the advent of Christ that there is room enough for your cold, biting hurt, the subtle stabbings of sorrow and grief. With the passing of the Christmas season, take comfort that in the midst of your darkness and that of the world’s, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace enters in, born to die that he might reach down into our cold, lifeless, painful winters and bring about healing and life.

Christmas makes way for spring in the midst of winter, bitter and weathered as our hearts have become. As Christmas passes, let pass with it your pain and bitterness, your sorrow and grief. The hopes and fears of all your years of silent suffering are met in Christ, and he carries all of that dankness and dark to the Cross for you.

As December fades away, let the Son of God, Man of Sorrows, comfort, warm, and envelop you. His Advent brings with it the good news that He is able.

We’ve had a good year; let’s have another.

*Lyrics in italics are from Relient K’s “Boxing Day.”


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