For the last few years, I’ve dreaded putting up the Christmas tree and my Christmas decorations. In fact, I’ve made it as short and simple of a process as possible. Three part Christmas tree, pre-lit, limited ornaments, a nativity, and just a few decorations for the living room.
You could say my Christmas spirit is lacking.
I was in the middle of putting up my Christmas tree and its ornaments and found myself sorrowful. The song in the background echoed my sentiments of loneliness, telling me I wasn’t alone.
I always imagined by now I’d have a home full of love and Christmas nostalgia. Kiddos to make cookies with; Homemade Christmas crafts with the family; Playing Santa; Enjoying family life. But that’s not the life that God had in mind for me at this moment in my life.
And as my eyes were filling with tears putting up these ornaments and wishing that was a reality, I unwrapped an ornament that my parents gave me last year with a glistening cross and the words, Thank you for touching the lives of others with the love of the Lord.
In that moment, God reminded me of the goodness of the state of life in which He’s put me where I am more free to use my time and gifts to touch the lives of others -- the wider family of God. He often does that.
In this way, I feel Christmas love all year round -- that is witnessing Christ's love being born and coming alive in people. That's a blessing. Not everyone has that gift.
To bring His Christmas love in a different way to the wider family of God.So if you find yourself alone this Christmas, if it’s hard to put that Christmas tree up, if you long for a whole family and a different state of life than you are in now, if you're single, empty nesters, divorcees, or widows whose families have changed, tap into your life's blessing. Perhaps God has put you in this place to touch the lives of others in a special way.
Katie Zalany lives in Cleveland Ohio. She is a Third Order Secular Franciscan (OFS), spiritual director, benefits/wellness leader, certified health and life coach, and SVDP volunteer. She is the creator of the ministry Women in Waiting | Made for Fruitfulness and is the published author of Called to Corporate. Her writing interests and focus areas include Gospel reflections, Franciscan spirituality, women's spirituality, prayer, and integration of faith and daily living.