Christmas Sadness

sad Christmas
There’s a problem with this time of year. Those who experience grief, sadness, or disappointment experience it all the more as the rest of us run around putting up lights, singing of Christmas cheer, and wondering why some people can’t even muster the energy to care about the ugly Christmas sweater party. If you’re grief-stricken, sad, or disappointed this Christmas, I’m very sorry. This column is lovingly dedicated to you.

Have you lost a family member this year? Or last year? Or even ten years ago? When you put up the Christmas tree, do you have to sit down and cry a few times as certain ornaments cause you to recall precious memories of the one who will be glaringly absent from Christmas dinner? Do you find yourself wanting to avoid parties, dinners, or the merriment of the season because you’re just too sad to care? You’re not alone.

When you watch Christmas movies or Hallmark commercials that feature parents and grandparents passing down long-held holiday traditions to their perfectly-dressed children, do you wonder what that life would have been like? What would it have been like to be loved and supported? Cherished? Respected? Do you wonder what people would think if they knew the violence, agony, and difficulty of your own childhood? Do you find yourself wondering why your own parents couldn’t have been more like…well, like parents? You’re not alone.

Did you experience the agony of separation or divorce this year? The one person who promised to never leave you walked right out the front door, never looking back. You wonder if anyone understands the searing pain of loneliness. You’re not alone.

Are you financially strapped this season? Already in debt up to your eyeballs? Behind on bills? Wondering how to pay the electric bill much less buy presents? When people say, “Christmas isn’t about all the presents,” you find yourself thinking, “Yeah. Tell that to my family members.” You’re not alone.

Did you always picture what it would be like when your own kids were grown? Did you envision them marrying lovely and supportive spouses and having beautiful respectful kids? Every Christmas they’d all gather around your table and everyone would be happy. Thankful. Blessed. A life pulled right from the Norman Rockwell picture hanging in the dental office. But it didn’t turn out that way. Perhaps addiction, rebellion, or selfishness crept in and ruined your vision of the picture-perfect Christmas. You raised your kids to be one way. But they chose a different path. I’m sorry. You’re not alone either.

Christmas is a magnifying glass of sorts. When you’re happy, you’re all the more happy in December. When you’re suffering, you’re all the more suffering. I can’t solve that problem. I can’t make the disappointing loved ones in your life less disappointing. I can’t bring back those who have passed on. I can’t go back and give you a more ideal childhood. All those things are out of my control. And out of your control too.

Hallmark movies are great but Christmas is not, nor has it ever been, about a perfect family or a perfect life. Only one person led a perfect life. And blessedly, Christmas is about Him. This Christmas I take joy in celebrating the one who completely understands us and all our disappointments. The one who is not surprised by the suffering, the grief, depression, or even the addictions. I celebrate Christ because He offers us something glorious…hope, redemption, love. A love that never fails. So, here’s to all the bruised and broken. You are loved. Merry Christmas.
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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brooks Kennedy
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 18:34:49

    Thanks so much Lisa for these thoughts. They are so true!! May God bless you and your family this Christmas.

    Brooks Kennedy PS Tech Group 682.587.PSTG



  2. Lyn Brown
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 18:39:53

    Pure poetry…”What ‘oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.” Beautiful, true, and necessary words, lisa Smartt. God knew what he was doing when he had you marry a ‘smartt” man!


  3. Dolores Mansfield
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 20:23:05

    Thank you, I needed that


  4. Candace Avera Burnham
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 23:53:03

    thank you Csndi for sad means a lot. i love you, Darin, Travis, Kelly PaiPai and
    lauren with all my heart.


    • thesmarttview
      Dec 08, 2014 @ 03:14:19

      Candace, I’m SO glad my writing met a need for you this Christmas. Thank you. I’m thinking your comment above was intended for someone else, yes? Perhaps someone who shared the blog with you? Just wanted you to know they probably won’t see the comments posted on this blog site. You might want to post on their FB page. Thank you! Lisa Smartt


  5. Marcia Tuck
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 03:19:22

    Lisa, you are so blessed with great insight into the lives of others and the heartaches that seem to be magnified during the holidays! Having Christ as my personal Savior and the relationship that I have with Him makes all the difference in the world. I pray that anyone who reads your comments but doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, will open their eyes and see the need in their life! What a blessed Christmas it would be for those who make that decision to make Jesus Christ at this time. May God Continue to Bless You for the positive difference you make in the lives of your faithful readers! Love you, dear friend! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!!!


    • thesmarttview
      Dec 09, 2014 @ 04:58:51

      Marcia, I know you understand grief firsthand. Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, a relationship with Christ makes all the difference in the world, in grief and in every other scenario.


  6. Marcia Tuck
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 03:23:07

    Correction: What a blessed Christmas it would be for those who make that decision to make Jesus Christ their personal Lord and Savior at this time.


  7. Kathy
    Dec 16, 2015 @ 14:33:53

    It seems that I made more than 1 or 2 of the “sadness list”. 😢 I love to watch the Hallmark movies but it seems that I either cry or come away with “it is always so perfect on tv”. Thank you Lisa for this wonderful post and recognizing that not all have the Hallmark perfect life. Really enjoyed you at the conference at Pickwick Landing SP last week!! Merry Christmas to you & yours….God bless!


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