At Christmas, the true nature of people becomes evident as some people, in spite of the spirit and feelings of love that so many feel, become crueler and more focused on self.
I cannot imagine anyone who regularly goes through their life saying and doing things to others that destroys people and their lives. I cannot imagine being so callous and cruel. Of course, we all do things without thinking or when we are not as sensitive as we should be and especially when we did not know what we said caused pain … but that is very different from people who seem to take pleasure in their efforts. While many of us would not be able to sleep thinking that someone else was in pain or crying because of something we said, others seem to thrive on it.
Christmas seems to be a red flag to them. A chance to push the knife in deeper and twist it.
I see Christmas as a big invitation to reach out and heal. Somehow all the pettiness of the year seems so irrelevant and while I enjoy the pleasures of the season – family and friends and so many blessings of privilege – I am acutely aware of those around me who are lacking. I may not have the money to be able to solve the world’s problems but I have the ability to make a few people’s lives happier.
This Christmas I think about the many people who will not get to be with family they love and care about. Even within my own family, there are grandchildren I will not see or get to speak with because of the hate of parents and step-parents that think using a child as a weapon is an awesome thing to do. I think about those kids being denied the love of our family that cares about them more than they will ever know, and in my head I try to understand how adults can do that to their children.
As an adult who survived a broken family, I would give anything to have something from my parents, to know that they loved me. It is a hole that it never filled despite my understanding of the situation, being loved by others, or gaining maturity and intelligence. Your parents are your parents. Everyone needs to know their parents care and people who spend their lives, their every effort, wanting to destroy that understanding for a child, should be charged with abuse.
I have thought a long time about what Christmas is and what it isn’t. I don’t think it matters really whether you are even Christian. It is about family and connections. It is about healing and hope for the new year. If we cannot love the people who are directly in front of us, we cannot love those across the street. Once we learn to widen our circles and heal those relationships we can turn to our communities and the world.
People keep saying “what can I do, I am just one person.” You can start where you are at. Love your partners. Love your children. Fill their lives with the knowledge they are loved. Let other people in who love them and should be part of their lives. Learn to work together for the sake of our children. Mend your relationships with the family you are fighting with. Mending does not mean you have to wade in and be best friends, it simply means you let go of the hate, you agree on a level of civility and basic kindness, and you move forward allowing for a new healthier relationship that will either unfold or at least not be destructive.
I have no room in my life for hate. It takes up too much room in all our lives. There is no middle line between love and hate where you get to sit with ill feelings. You can’t go to church and pat yourself on the back for being a good Christian, or do some kind deeds and talk about how great you are when you are actively hurting other people with your words and your actions.
Let. It. Go.
Heal yourself. Heal your family. Make Christmas about your children by showing them a world of hope, love and compassion. Show them with your example. Be a parent.