Oh Holy Night

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It’s so pure and emotional and focuses on the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas.

I was thinking recently how Christmas is one of those days in your life where there is most likely a trail of memories that we can trace beginning with childhood all the way to where we are now.

Christmas at my grandparents’ house until they passed and then it was Christmas at my Aunt and Uncle’s house until my Uncle passed away. Then it became running between my parents’ house and my in-law’s house with our children. Christmas as a single mom, Christmas when the boys were teens, then Christmas when they were gone and came home for a visit, Christmas when they came back to live with their significant other, Christmas when they were gone again and it snowed so much and I spent the day alone with my dogs, Christmas movies and a TV dinner. First Christmas without my father. The last Christmas party at my Aunt’s before she passed away.

It can be emotional, this time of year. Because memories of Christmas past can be so triggering when it comes to loss and change and the comparison as to how things used to be and how they are now. Tables with empty chairs. Your mom’s good china. Aunt Eleanor’s recipe for fudge.

And this year…..this year so many people will be seeing the day come and go while they are alone and isolated. Too many families have lost loved ones and others have to tell their children that Santa had to lay off most of his elves due to Covid and they are praying that their stimulus payments will come in time for them to run out to the crowded stores in time to grab food and something for the kids so they won’t have to face harsh reality on a day that should be magical.

But thank God the church got their billions so they didn’t have to close their doors. And I wonder how many victims of the pandemic left money to the church in their will.

You know, my intent is not to manifest hatred towards anyone. And I know that life is unfair. But businesses are struggling. Families are struggling. And is beyond my comprehension that people have had to wait until a couple of days before Christmas to get enough to buy some groceries and maybe some warm clothes or a toy for their children while the church cries poor mouth so loud that nobody else can be heard….all the while priests can afford to own their own businesses and property and before Covid, could afford to rack up frequent flyer miles.

The thing is, a couple of year’s ago, I wouldn’t have complained about that. I would have thought that the church does good things and takes care of people and anyone in need can go to the church for help.

Not saying that to some extent that isn’t true, but I am saying that I personally would not send someone to a church to get help. And I am saying it seems that this country has some things backwards. And that the church does not need financial help from the government and that they should not have had their hands out before anyone else who needs it. People who work hard and who have to pay taxes.

Okay, but back to Christmas. According to last week’s poll, most people said they never think about going to mass or they don’t feel they need to attend mass on Christmas day in order to celebrate.

Personally, I try not to get my spiritual beliefs confused with priests or a nice building with high ceilings and stained glass. It can feel more isolating to not attend mass with friends and neighbors. And childhood memories revolved around church at Christmas. But when some have been hurt by the people and the rituals and what was once comforting and safe now causes panic attacks and depression, I don’t think that is a good place for a soul to seek guidance.

I had someone say that in AA, they are having a hard time dealing with the concept of a “higher power” because God has been so powerfully linked for so long with the church and its people. And when one of those people continues to show one face to the world and a very sinister face to those they abuse, that abuse is very powerful as well.

I don’t know if you will be alone this Christmas. I don’t know if you will be unable to see your loved ones. I don’t know if it will be a really tough day for you because you have lost loved ones or because you are out of work or because maybe you have to work double shifts at the hospital….or perhaps you or someone you know are sick right now.

I still believe in Christmas miracles. Because I still believe there is good in the world. And I still believe in prayer and spiritual intervention and pretty much everything I grew up learning to believe…..but I have removed myself from the belief of the physical manifestation of a higher power in a building on Earth. And that people within that building are good simply by being there.

This is going to be a tough Christmas in some ways for almost everyone. But as I discovered that day I sat alone in the snowstorm with my TV dinner and my dogs and cable TV….it’s only a day like any other day.

So whether or not you are alone, or have family with you, or if the day brings feelings of emotion and loss…..it’s just a day. Better days are coming.

2 thoughts on “Oh Holy Night

  1. This is so helpful. I relate to the double shifts at the hospital and missing loved ones and the season bringing challenges.

    I finally put some of what used to be my favorite carols on and I have to say it helped. I had nice memories squeeze through the dark ones and come forward.

    The abuse hurt my life, but I’m still here. And there is a lot of good in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After my gram and husband and father passed on my mother and I made Christmas just another day. I refuse to get overly emotional over something I can’t change. Life changes, and changes quickly sometimes. It is not the events in life, but how you adapt to them that count. Every day is a good day, a nice day. Christmas is a religious day….and I honor that and keep it in mind. The family gatherings have gone in my life but the memories are wonderful and cause me no pain. The best mother, father, grandmother, grandfathers and husband were mine for a time. I am very, very grateful. Some never can say that. I hope to see them all again if I make it to heaven, so I have to be a good girl!

    Like

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