Despite my love of Christmas, of lights and decorations and holiday traditions and carols, for many years I felt a deep sadness at Christmas. Christmas often seemed to highlight what I didn’t have. My family doesn’t always do well at the holidays and it was frequently a time of stress. When my beloved grandparents died almost seven years ago, I wondered if I would ever be able to recapture my love of Christmas. Six years ago I was mourning their loss, which had also triggered my fear that perhaps I would never marry. I was in my late twenties and one of the things I was saddest about was that my grandparents would never meet my as yet unknown spouse or hold my hypothetical children. I remember weeping in my Bishop’s office during tithing settlement when he asked me “How are you doing?” I was surprised by my emotion and response, since I was usually fairly good at smiling and saying “Fine,” no matter what was really going on.
But that year I began to acknowledge my loss and disappointment that things in my life felt perilous and tenuous.Read More