Is it just me, or has anyone else felt as if they were caught up in the middle of Cinderella's Ball this week? It's as if the clock struck midnight on Halloween and all of the sudden every pumpkin turned into Christmas decor. Really?
By Monday evening of November 1st, I was scratching my head as I drove home past the courthouse in Braselton lit up with garland and lights. And, not to blast my Facebook friends, but I read post after post of folks busting out Christmas music, trading in pumpkin spice lattes for peppermint ones, and entering the fury of buying presents.
I say it again...really?
I mean, I'm still munching on way too much Halloween candy that I snagged off my cute little neice and nephew (their payment for me dressing up like a ridiculous queen to trick or treat with them).
Now, I must temper my thoughts with my state of mind and spirit as I enter these festive days that I used to get all excited for (but honestly never this early - I love turkey and dressing too much!). Never before could I relate to Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," but this year I sure could.
I guess that is why my grief group, my counselor and countless books on loss warn those grieving to enter the holiday season with extreme caution. Now, I could turn into Scrooge and everyone would attempt to understand. I might not be much fun for the next 2 months, but certainly no one would stop me from being a sad mess.
But I do have a choice in the matter. To be Scrooge or not to be Scrooge? That is my question.
No, I probably won't be busting out my Christmas decor. And, I won't listen to much Christmas music, which isn't different from years past (yes, I love Jesus, just not Christmas music). I'll turn down my fair share of holiday parties. I don't plan to visit the mall or buy many presents (sorry, friends and family, unless you're under the age of 6).
A wave of sadness hit me on Monday as I realized that November was really here and the holidays were encroaching faster that I wanted. It was then that one of my favorite words came to mind, hope. How could I find hope for the holidays? How could I give hope for the holidays? How could I BE hope for the holidays?
I figure I'm not the only one who needs hope this season. Countless others are facing their first holidays without a dear loved one, due to death, divorce or some other cause. Several more are facing their first without a job, without health, without a home, without money, without friends, the list goes on and on.
Dear Lord, this is my prayer. Keep me from being Scrooge this year. Keep my eyes on You, my Hope, my Love. And please God, bring Hope to the hurting this holiday season. Please give us the miracle of Hope. Amen.
Dearly loved, and hoping,