Column: Not Merry For Everyone…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
It is a truly joyous time of year for me and my wife Meghan– we are parents of two wonderful children, and at their ages, 2 and 4 years old, Christmastime is now getting really, really fun.
My son is getting a gigantic firetruck, and my daughter is getting LOL Surprise dolls, and the only reason I’m writing that is because they can’t read yet.
It’s a stressful, hectic time of year too though. That’s for me, when, as I said in the paragraph right above this one, it’s a very happy time of year too.
It’s stressful and hectic for me, and I KNOW just how good I’ve got it – really good.
For others, I know, a bit through personal experience, a bit through watching others, that for some, this time of year can have all of that stress, all of those hectic times, but with less of the unbridled joy I get to experience.
I know that for some, this time of year isn’t a time of joy and happiness at all, but it can be a time of sorrow, of loneliness, and of loss.
As bad as that can be, I also know that for someone who is having a bad time during the holidays, sometimes all it can take to make things just a little better is to have someone else notice what they’re going through, to have someone care for them, to have a person, maybe just one person, let them know they love them.
So what I’m going to try to do is to keep my eyes and ears open, and to look for people in my life that aren’t doing so well, and to try to be there for them if I can.
I’d encourage readers to do the same, if they are able.
When I say, “I’ll try,” it’s not a cop-out, so much as an honest statement that maybe my head is not as entirely in the game right now as it might be at another time of the year.
I doubt I am alone in this.
As someone who has worked through their own issues too, I know that even if I do notice someone else having a bad time, I can’t make them not be the way they are – in my experience, the only way out of a state one finds one’s self in is by going through it.
That said, the difference between a sad period and tragedy might just be someone knowing that they have a friend or loved one that cares about them.
Even if you can’t carry a person through their hard times, maybe you can offer them a hand and walk at their side while they make their own way through.
So eat, drink, and be merry. Hug your kids, your brothers or sisters, your mothers or fathers. Go see your cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. Have a blast, and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Remember though, when you’re making merry, that not everyone is having as good a time as you might be, and if you notice someone who isn’t, a hug, a kind word, or a caring act might be what it takes to make a real difference in their life right when they need it most.
Finally, while I hope that the kinds of sadness and melancholy I’m talking about don’t go this far, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
There’s an online chat option available as well at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. These are much better resources to have and not need, than to need and not have.
Share the number and address, let people know, and if you need to, make a call there or to someone you know you can talk to if you do find yourself in a difficult place this holiday season.
Merry Christmas, and God bless you all.
– Alex Haglund, Managing Editor