Christmas On My Mind … Along With Many Other Thoughts

I’ve always loved this time of the year – who doesn’t? Tis the season of joys and merriment and even the pessimists and ‘joy killers’ amongst us take time off to enjoy this period. Really, I love Christmas.

But this year, I find myself with mixed feelings – happiness, weariness, depression and many others I’m not sure I can name. I’m happy to be seeing yet another season of joy but somehow, I find my joy being dampened by the myriad of gloomy news that bombarded many of us this period – shocking and unexpected deaths of loved ones, increased hardship for many friends and family members, a sense of hopelessness over the state of the world and our strange ability to sink further into the erosion of our values or should I say our humanity?  When, if ever, will it end? I wonder – as I chew on my vanilla cream cake. Like I said, many mixed emotions in me.

From the conversations around, I sense a different Christmas this year. Oh, people will have fun and do all the merry things they usually do but for most, it will be a front to hide the pain and despair beneath, or a balm to soothe aching spirits.

I doubt there’s many amongst us who didn’t experience some form of heartbreak this year – be it the death of a loved one or the loss of something close and dear to the heart. Let’s not even talk about the many senseless tragedies in the news for those are beyond words… like the ALUU 4 or the Connecticut killings. While that and many others made the news, some didn’t – many lost family, their homes, their marriages, their jobs in an economy that shows no visible signs of improvement; many got diagnosed with life threatening ailments and were forcedto face the reality of a shortened life but worst of all, a number lost their faith in our humanity.
So for many, this Christmas will be celebrated but with a dark cloud hanging over. I’ve chosen to take another path though. In spite of it all, I’ve chosen to look at the glass half full and celebrate this season with all I’ve got because I need the hope of this season to peddle my way through whatever is to come next. Besides, we have to get past now to enter the New Year where hopes and dreams of a better future can be resurrected once again.   

I refuse to get carried away by all the negativity of the year. If there’s one thing I’ve definitely learned (something we all pay lip service to but forget every once in a while), it’s that ‘when life gives you a thousand reasons to cry, show life you’ve got a million reasons to smile’. Now, at this very moment, writing on my table, I’m also busy counting my blessings. I’m here this Christmas and I hope to see many more Christmases; my dad may have died but he was in my mother’s arms surrounded by assurances of the love of his family (many died in accidents or after many years of painful illnesses so I don’t think my old man has any complaints wherever he is); my income may have dropped due to bad economy but I’m still alive, healthy and within reach of the opportunities that life has to offer (opportunities don’t come to the dead, do they?); my kids’ may be driving me crazy with their many requests this period but they are still here and I’m sure the ALUU 4 and Connecticut parents along with many others who lost their kids this year would happily trade those requests for their kids’ lives; my body may have gained a few pounds but better that than to have it waste away on some debilitating disease. Yes, as I count, I realize there are so many things to be thankful for this season and while I may have some pain, I’m going to smile through them because that’s what people with hope do. Besides, if you think you don’t have much to celebrate, think of others who have so many reasons to be thankful and celebrate with them.

So, no matter what happened to you this year or what your future fears are, for this moment …in this time…right now …smile or better still, laugh out loud and be grateful that you are here…again…at this time … in this moment to celebrate yet another joyful season. May we see many more.
Merry Christmas!

Culled from Chioma’s life stories blog at

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