This is for the ones who are more excited about taking the tree down than they were about putting it up. It’s for the ones who dreaded the carols and holly jolly gatherings. It’s for the ones who were counting down to December 26. It’s for the ones trying to tamp down the tears and smile through the hurt.
Congratulations on making it through Christmas.
Whether you grieve the absence of a loved one or the end of a marriage, whether you’ve braved infertility or miscarriage, whether you’ve experienced the death of a mom or dad or brother or sister or grandma or grandpa, whether others are even aware of the pain you carry—whatever your heartache, you made it through Christmas.
It doesn’t matter that you felt simultaneously so grateful for the holidays, yet guilty for wishing them away.
It doesn’t matter that you loved every second with the family present but also ached for family absent.
It doesn’t matter that sometimes your body was there but your heart was not.
It doesn’t matter that you didn’t do all the things or keep up all the traditions.
It doesn’t matter that you kept your circle small and your checklist short.
It doesn’t matter that making it to Christmas left you with barely the strength to make it through Christmas.
It doesn’t matter that you had to conserve energy for the essentials, at the cost of saying no to all else.
It doesn’t matter that your Christmas cards didn’t make it to your shopping cart, much less your mailbox.
It doesn’t matter that you slept a little extra, ate a little extra, Netflixed a little extra.
It doesn’t matter that you cried in your car before you arrived and then laughed a little too hard once you did.
None of this matters. What matters is that you made it through Christmas. Just because the holidays are beautiful, it doesn’t mean they aren’t really, really hard for a whole lot of people. Sometimes the beautiful things are the ones that hurt the most, because they magnify all that’s lost. If you can relate, I hope you give yourself a little extra grace. If you can’t relate, I hope you give that grace to the ones who can.
Bottom line, you made it. Credit where credit is due, my friend…and it is certainly due.
Our 19th Christmas together. I thank God every single day for every single day with this guy.