I've started writing and then deleted this post a couple of times now. I originally had it starting with a list of things that were currently depressing me. You know, like the cold rain that is almost but not quite snow. And all the people stranded at airports and train stations in Europe. Or how about the thousands (millions?) who cannot afford Christmas gifts this year?
Cheery stuff, that. Which is why I wrote it and deleted it. And then wrote it again.
I love Christmas. I love these short, dark days that we light up with decorations. I love the hustle and bustle and spending time with family. I love traditions like opening stocking stuffers, then making the children suffer through breakfast before getting to the presents. I love the nativity story. I love everything about this holiday.
And some years it amazes me that we collectively agree to do it again. Because at heart, even though it is all wonderful, it is a hell of a lot of effort and work, and it wouldn't surprise me if we just flat out refused it all one year. This year is one of those years. Fabulous as the season is, it is hard for me to be as cheery as usual because I feel so burdened with the weight of the world's woes. It is not just strangers, but people I know. Family members struggling, friends losing their jobs.
And this is a big however.
There's always a bright spot. Or sometimes several:
Like participating in the over $20,000 that The Bloggess's Secret Santas gave away in gift cards to the needy.
Like rescuing two pugs.
Like my crazy, exuberant family.
Like visiting–and falling in love with–a new church.
And most of all, there's writing. Because writing makes me remember these bright spots when all around me is darkness. Writing brings me lightness when I'm feeling gloomy. And writing has brought me more, so much more–including friends near and far and so many of you who read this blog that I feel like I know but I've never actually met. Writing makes me feel like I have the power to change my life, and maybe even the lives of others.
And that is worth a lot, during these dark days.