A Holiday Wish
Two years ago my four-year-old grandson took his turn sitting on Santa’s lap during his pre-school’s holiday breakfast. It was his chance to have a one-on-one discussion about Christmas gifts with the featured celebrity.
“What is your wish from Santa young man?” asked the red clad figure in a deep voice.
“Oh Santa,” Max thoughtfully started, “you can just surprise me.”
During this time of year we are surrounded by opportunities to give and to receive. There are blasts of media prompts for the perfect gift, cooking shows provide recipes for the ideal meals and there are constant reminders to spread happiness and joy. Children busily write letters to the North Pole expressing their simple wishes and adults try to fulfill their desires. Some little ones like Max put their trust in the magic of Christmas. But remember that everyone’s heart may not be as receptive to celebrate. Grief can temporarily darken its chambers and distance a person from the frivolity and celebration.
I have personally felt this sadness and so my holiday wish is for everyone to try and be sensitive to those who may be longing for their loved ones. If you know someone who has experienced a loss this season here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you to be supportive and to give a friend or a loved one an opportunity to get through the holidays with a sense of hope and peace.
1.Invite those grieving to holiday activities. Let them decide if they want to attend and if so, offer to drive. If not, don’t take offense.
2. Allow a person to show emotion, even if that means being sad.
3. If there are moments of silence, hold the person’s hand and show you care.
4. Mention the missing loved one by name in holiday conversations. Share memories.
5. Be yourself. Don’t walk on eggshells. Listen to the whispers.
1. Don’t promise everything will be fine.
2. Don’t assume a person will have a good time at a holiday function. Provide an opportunity to exit early.
3. Don’t avoid grief.
4. Don’t leave the person alone during a holiday gathering.
5. Don’t try to recreate past memories.
Best wishes for a meaningful and joyous holiday season!