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This time of year is a real struggle.  So much laughter and celebration in the air.  I can't enter into it.  The holidays are just too hard.  Too many sad memories.

In my faith tradition we have a worship service called "Blue Christmas".

It is intended to give people who are grieving or otherwise distressed at Christmas a chance to step away from the endless drumbeat in the culture about the "most wonderful time of the year".

Blue Christmas acknowledges that not everyone is having holly jolly holiday happy.  The joyful hymns are avoided and the more somber carols are used instead.  The sermon would usually emphasize the solemnity and melancholy that actually does lie at the heart of the season.

Blue Christmas worship can be very spiritually refreshing, especially when the happy happy joy joy all around seems forced and fake and shallow.  It's a relief to be honest about the struggle of the holiday blues and not have to expend so much energy fighting it and putting on a happy face.  There is no need to put on a happy face at a Blue Christmas service.  Everyone there is trying to find a way to cope with loss and sadness and heartbreak and death anniversaries and grief about the empty seat(s) at the table.  

Since I am so late posting this, it is already Christmas Eve.  For so many people today is a day of eager anticipation and preparation for family gatherings and feasting tomorrow.

I just want to get through it without bursting into tears.

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