October sets off my favorite annual ramp-up. In most places I've lived, that's when the temps start dropping, my fav jean jacket gets worn, and friends and family are inviting kith and kin over for impromptu bonfires, to roast marshmallows on sticks (yes, like the sort we cut and skin from trees) and swizzle hot cocoa laced with a favorite ingredient, mine being peppermint and coffee – heavy on the coffee!
Although farming moves into a different gear in autumn, in other ways, for lots of people, the energy levels gain momentum, picking up speed to match the need for all the partying that's about to cut loose.
The scenery morphs to match. Fall's oranges, blacks and greens swing in with October and later blend with the mauves, reds and browns of November. Those join together in December, enhanced with reds, blues, silvers and golds.
String some flashing lights, sprinkle them with glitter and tah-dahh! Many of us will be walking around in a deco-drug delirium. Works for me. I love nearly anything that sparkles, be it starlight, gold or even tin foil.
It's the sort of trappings that can induce many of us to feel wonderful as we go traipsing through our days humming about peace on earth and good will toward man.
I wish that were true of how everyone feels during the holidays but it isn't.
Not everyone is interested in good will toward man. Many aren't even interested or even capable of good will toward themselves.
While some are moving through the season in high gear and high spirits, there are others who are experiencing the holidays in a fashion akin to a kick-boxing match and they're loosing.
I'm referring to the ones who have maybe taken some serious hits, physically, mentally and sometimes spiritually, that have left them fractured. Wounded.
Even if they've been in a period of healing, there's something about the holidays that can rip the scab right off a wound and get it hurting and bleeding all over again.
Holiday bliss is sometimes difficult for...
... the ones who have no family and are running shy on friends too.
... the one who's spending their first holidays without their spouse of many years.
... the one who's thousands of miles from home, wearing combat gear and praying for a quiet night, holy night and no-shots-fired night.
... the one with the child whose head is bald, is weak and sick from cancer and chemo.
Maybe nothing at all has happened to them. Maybe their sadness is derived from a physical defect causing an emotional disorder.
They aren't always the ones who are being fussy. Sometimes, lots of times, they're quiet with a bland, thoughtful or maybe an unreadable expression.
You can come across them in all sorts of places.
A check out line at the store. A parking area at the Christmas tree farm. A homeless shelter. A church pew.
My point with this post is not to bring you down for the holidays. It's to help you, me, all of us, to focus on the good things while being sensitive and compassionate for those who may be in an emotional struggle and are having a hard time stepping into the swing of the holiday's high spirits and festivities.
There's good news, still.
For anyone in need of help, this is the season that stands as a testament to help being available. You don't even have to wait on Santa to bring it.
CLICK HERE and let Max Lucado enlighten you on an alternative, a perfect one, in one of the best articles I've ever read. Don't worry about the read time. It isn't too long and Max is never boring!
If you're wanting to be a help to someone in need but consider yourself to be someone short on resources, please keep in mind how much healing can be issued through a simple smile, hug and especially time spent in prayer.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
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