I am a certified Christmas fiend. I love everything about the season -- the cheer, the tree, the traditions, family, the gift exchange, the turkey and stuffing. But my favourite part are the childhood memories that cascade with every trigger. Lucky for me, those memories spark joy and rekindle every fibre of happiness that was my world. Sadly, for many, Christmas is a struggle, a painful, lonely season. It may be that they have nothing to rekindle, or that they do not have loved ones to share the season with. Whatever the reason, I can see the sadness in the eyes of my colleague who has no plans for Christmas, and in my friend with the tiny family of elders who tries her best to ride out the holiday with as little drama as possible.
There are people with little or no families; who have suffered loss, who are struggling with illnesses or financial stresses. Mustering holiday cheer requires an effort of monumental proportion, if possible at all. I have seen this first hand in my circle of friends and family.
The magic in Christmas is created when the memories of Christmas' past merge with the present. If either versions are anything short of wonderful, there can be no magic. I realize that I have to be more sensitive to the feelings of others and not assume that everyone's reality matches mine. I can see that a big collective hug is in order to spread the love. How to put sparkle in saddened eyes and inject an inkling of joy to resigned postures of dread?
For me, Christmas cheer. For many, Christmas jeer. And I wonder ... how can I bring the magic to the people I care about?