For some people, it’s been known that the holidays can be a difficult time rather than one filled with glee and gladness. For many of us, the dizzying demands of the holidays, with a hundred errands to run and a mile-long Christmas gift list to cover, does bring about a bit of anxiety. Even worse, the financial costs of Christmas spending will leave one feeling so much more stressed. Hence, the best thing to do is to keep gifts simple and celebrations but humble.
For many who have experienced a loss of a loved one, the holidays in fact bring a sense of depression and gloominess. I remember how tough the holidays were on the first year when my Dad passed away. But the year before his demise, a foreboding sense of sadness came when we spent Christmas day in the hospital’s ICU.
Indeed, it was a very surreal time for our family then. When you have been through trying times as our family had, you will soon learn that time heals grief and longing.
Now, many years forward, visiting our Dad’s grave has become part of our Christmas tradition, and a way of keeping his memory a part of our family’s festivities.
Maybe it’s really ironic that the festive season can mean otherwise for some people.
Perhaps, at no time in our history have we seen so many families scattered across the globe. These days, it isn’t at all unusual to have siblings stationed across the States, Europe, Canada, Australia and even as far as Africa.
Hence, the longing for family get-togethers is something sought after even more. With families so far away, some plan for their Christmas family reunions months and years ahead, as the preparation demands working out a hundred logistical issues for everyone—from airline tickets, itineraries and simply trying to fit in everyone’s schedule. But, in the end, getting together during that one time is worth a ton of memories for all.
With Christmas being an integral part of our culture, for many Filipino migrant workers, this season is truly a challenging time for them as well. Whether they’re somewhere in Asia or across the Atlantic or Pacific, loneliness may be most felt at this time of year. In fact, in countries with long, cold winters, the statistics of people getting depressed during the festive season even grows higher.
How ironic it is that this is the reality, when many of us dream of a white Christmas as the ever-famous Christmas carol goes. Therefore, if you have family and friends spending Christmas alone in a white, wintery land, find the time to send a heartfelt greeting in any way you can.
Perhaps it’s most true to say that childhood Christmas celebrations are the best memories we will all have of the season. But, as we get older, we soon appreciate that Christmas need not be celebrated in grandiose ways, but relishing the company of family and friends that really matters. How truly enviable it is for those of us who can enjoy the loving company of our closest kin and kith this season; and, for this reason, we should all be grateful.
And so, brush off the holiday blues away for kin and kith far and away. Find time to send them a note, or a phone call filled with care and cheer. After all, it will be truly invaluable.
Happy holidays to all!