A Christmas Story

There’s always a sliver of wonder that rides the wind and tingles spines at the tail end of the year. It carries with it a lightness, a sort of magic, an “anything-can-happen” atmosphere making this time the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas means a lot of things to people, and I suppose it changes over the years. For me, this year, it means loneliness and quiet emptiness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful in spite of everything we went through this year. We made it. We did.

But there’s the aftermath of gratitude of survival and thanksgiving that you have to walk through. And mine has me feeling very alone. There’s just this gulf and space, and it’s there even with people around me. It’s because friendship has gone back to being a term in the dictionary. Something that’s supposed to mean something but doesn’t translate quite the same in real life; not for the lack of trying, of course, but if everyone’s going through something, how are you supposed to be there for one another? How are you supposed to give someone space do deal with life without smothering them and also hope they let you in at the same time? Plus a friend is keeping a secret from me that she doesn’t know I know yet because my parents’ housekeeper told me months ago and I’m just in a spiral of it all. Everything combined.

That’s where I’m at. We’re a desperate lot, this generation. Together, yet alone. Connected, yet alone. Even in gatherings and communities. We’ve forgotten what it means to be there. And I relearned it this year with how God carried me. Presence is always the best answer. Here looks better when it’s in front of you, holding you, sticking around. And I’m circling back to this post series about the need to not be drive-by friends. God! You tipped me off early in the year and I didn’t get it until now. Oh boy!

Who’d have thought that the holidays can be a lonely time, even with people around you? I guess, what I’m trying to say is I’ve given up, worse than before, on friendship. I have. I really have. In the past when I was much younger, I’d make the best of friendships but as soon as I’d transition (like into a new school, high school, university or church) I’d let go ever so easily. Only because I always believed friendships never could last. But I cut that out because it felt unhealthy. Believe me, it was hard, but I did. Now, I’m not too sure whether to bother in the first place.

There’s a book concept God gave me early this year that I’ve been writing up for months and it’s about community. One line in particular stands out to me.

Community is just a fancy word for connected and depending on each other. Click To Tweet

Those words cut deep both ways – with the kind of friend I’ve been and how I hoped my friends would have loved on me. I know we’re both to blame (me and them) but I’m all tapped out now. This year taught me it’s all a privilege and not a right. Everything in life, but especially friendships.

I’m just grateful that Dave and I are stronger together this Christmas. Like I said, I’d rather have two of us here, than nothing at all.

Back to feasting and listening to happier music than this 90’s Spotify playlist. Didn’t realize much of the music back then was either sad or angry. Lol. Hard pass.

Wishing you happier holidays,


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