The events surrounding the first Christmas after a loss often seem to magnify the sadness. We are aware of the emptiness as we compare past years. Attending Christmas Eve services and other events that bring fond memories may be overwhelming. The truth is, you can take a break from every other year, because this isn’t like every other year. You do not need to send Christmas cards, put up a tree, make cookies, or do your usual holiday entertaining.

You can sit by the fire and watch the twinkling lights, appreciating the beauty and thanking God for the years you shared. You can join the other few people who would appreciate your company at church on Christmas morning. You can make phone calls to  family or friends who are also missing your loved one, to console them. They will hang up grateful to still have you.

It will be different this year. But God can fill you with love and compassion for others, who are also experiencing their first Christmas alone. You can be the “Christ Gift of Love” to someone!