This is a re-post from November 2010… still appropriate for many people, I think.
That rhetorical question from a movie blurb has played over and over in the last week – Christmas movies have arrived on cable TV. But it’s not rhetorical for me. The answer is, “Me.”
Christmas used to be a happy time of year, before the 1968 one where my severely depressed mother took an overdose of pills and washed it down with vodka. I found her unconscious in her bed, after she didn’t show up for work one morning.
The family took turns Christmas day sitting with her at the hospital, then after she was stabilized, my husband and I drove her to MUSC. Still clad in a hospital gown and robe with thin foam slippers on her feet, she huddled up in a hospital “blanket” (folded bedspread) on what seemed to be the coldest day of the year. Transfer by ambulance was unavailable, and our driving her to be admitted was the only other solution.
Our car wasn’t up to the trip so we had borrowed an uncle’s VW beetle – and soon discovered the heater was broken. It’s a miracle we didn’t all have pneumonia by the time we got there.
There have been several other really bad Christmases since then, including the one 10 days after Tim died in 2006.
Yes, I know it’s the time to celebrate our Savior’s birth. I know it’s the time to sing Joy to the World. Knowing that and feeling that are two different things.
So some years I just don’t pull out the decorations, don’t watch the holiday movies, don’t send Christmas cards. It’s not that I don’t think that’s appropriate, because I do. Some years I actually do all of that.
But right now I’m thinking about other people who don’t consider it a rhetorical question, either. I pray for others like me, struggling against memories of a much less than joyful holiday season.
I pray that the reason for the season – the baby Jesus, crucified Savior and risen Christ – will flood all our hearts and minds, overcoming those bad memories this year.