Too often the message we hear at church or in the media at this time of year is that Christmas is a time for families. For example this morning at church my pastor prayed a special prayer to bless families and those who came with their family, sadly no mention was made of those who came alone or with friends. This kind of treatment can make those of us who are single, divorced, widowed, without children or who are living far from family, that Christmas is not a time for us.
Christmas, as the song puts it, is supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ but for many people, myself included, it can be actually one of the loneliest, depressing and most angst-ridden time of the year. The growing gap between our reality and our expectations for Christmas is fueled by saccharine sweet Hallmark cards, endless happy family holiday movies and highly curated social media feeds of family bliss in the festive season. It all just looks so wonderful, so perfect but so far from the reality that we are experiencing.