Christmas Is Emotional. What Can We Do?

Christmas Santa
Christmas Santa

It is Christmas time. Christmas is emotional.


For some, it is presents and gift-giving. While for others, it is the parties, get together, and seeing others. Others embrace spiritual things and Advent. For folks like me, I embrace it all. (I even wrote a book about it a few years ago.) 


I have visited stores, opened Advent calendars, decorated the home, watched Christmas movies, cried over sappy commercials, and hung out with people. 


I love Christmas. I love the magic, the kindness, and the good things that go with the season. 


But, this year, I found myself feeling more “emotional” about it. We were looking at community decorations and decorated homes. I thought about all the places I had visited over the years as I took children and grandchildren to extravagant displays throughout the region. And there it was. Trips with my mom to places like NYC to see the lights. Annual treks to Constitution Plaza. And how many stores and Santa Claus’ did I see?  


One of the most magic times for me was when our community volunteer fire department put on their annual Christmas. I cannot explain the excitement, the magic or anything related. Or my undying faith in Santa Claus. All shattered when my parents told me the truth. You do not want to know how old I was. 


I tried to hold on to the feeling as I entered my teens, but my home life was very chaotic. My dad was a WWII veteran, who had been injured twice. He suffered “battle fatigue.” My parents got divorced and I decided Christmas meant nothing to me. 

I went on that way for a bit, but having children changed that. I still was “sour” on Christmas. And then something changed. I joined a small church fellowship and ended up falling in love with the Christmas season. I wanted it to be magic for my children. 


I drove them to see light displays and bought peppermint hot chocolate. I made the bread my mom made. I found old ornaments. I bought the biggest trees. My wife was given a gorgeous nativity scene. (I had it set with “star” lights.) I loved Christmas. (And the book? My kids called me the “king of lights.”) 


Santa and Jesus

Changing the world. Santa and Jesus.

My wife and I purchased a home on the top of a mountain. A 14’ tree fit in nicely with the cathedral ceilings. (Each year I would hear that my tree was ready.) I bought lights and more lights. I had a dream that I would one day have a place where kids could come to see the lights, meet Santa, see a nativity scene, and be under the stars on a mountain top setting.  


My love for Christmas has not waned and neither has my dream to have that “place” that people could come to, buy a hot chocolate, watch pretty lights, and recapture their childhood, or create a magical place for the children. 


My parents are not here. I do not see all my children. I have lost friends. And things like the pandemic happened. But I am not quitting. I will have some days that are better than others. And some that are not so good. But I can change things. I told my friends; I will take pictures of ALL my ornaments and put them in a movie with where they came from and what they mean to me! 


What else can you or I do? 




I like decorations, but I do not need ALL of them. And as much as I would like every room decorated, I only need my tree or my nativity. (Oh, and an angel on the door!) 


How about shopping? (Aside from budgets, people really like the individualized touch, and the time spent with them.) Do not let it own you! 


Baking. (Or cooking.) I am making ONE thing this year! 


What does your schedule look like? I love seeing LOTS of people, but I know it is not always realistic. (I own a business, am president of two nonprofits, and a senior leader in a church fellowship.) My wife would tell you I work hard not to overload our schedule. (I say “no” a lot!) 


I used to wrap things beautifully, but the more personal I am and with the kids being older, I do not do as much. 

Pick the thing that stresses you the most and work to simplify it! 


Christmas lights on the hillside

Christmas lights on the hillside

And I have one ask of you, the reader, to do. Take the time to do something fun. Be with others when you can and determine to make the most of it even in more tough times. 


My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours! 


Lee is the owner of Positive News For You and the President of PN4UINC.

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