Christmas Flu By

I can’t remember a Christmas when I haven’t felt a bittersweet sadness at the end of the day. Whenever this time has rolled around, I have always found myself feeling a little blue that the presents have been opened, the family events have come to a close, and the lovely decorations celebrating the reason for it all have worn out their welcome and will soon find themselves on the fast track to attic central.

However this year has officially allowed me to confirm that having 100% of your family of five simultaneously sporting a nasty flu infection for the big celebration weekend will move you right past bittersweet sentiments and straight into exhausted relief. I have also confirmed that this flu virus was the worst family gift. Ever.

Bleh and yuck.

I heard the words ‘Choose Joy’ countless times over my radio throughout this holiday season, and every single time, I wanted to throw a reindeer at the announcer. If I could find joy, wouldn’t I have opted for that right out of the gate??? Clearly it wasn’t that easy. I tried. I just couldn’t find it. And having a houseful of extremely sick humans¬†didn’t exactly check any boxes off of my Christmas weekend wish list either.

But the strangest thing has happened. Right now in these last few minutes of Christmas, despite all of the disappointment of the past few days, I am surprised and truly grateful to feel my natural fondness for Christmas returning home to my heart where it belongs. It is familiar, and as always, is a love that easily surpasses my affection for any other time of the year. I am writing this by the fire in my living room as my family members are asleep in their beds. In this moment, there is a beautiful peacefulness. A stillness. The holiness of this day is palpable, and I can understand with perfect clarity how truly blessed we are.

There are joys to be found even in the heaviest times of our lives. We shouldn’t berate ourselves when we can’t find the light in the darkness, but we should celebrate every moment of it whenever we have clarity.

We have so much to be thankful for, but we become infected by so many things – illness, loneliness, hurt, worry, fear. They drag us down, and we feel so lost. Nevertheless we are stronger than we could ever imagine, and we never walk the path alone.

Christmas transcends the presents, the get togethers, the decorations, and most certainly the flu. It’s not about the day or the month or the season. It is about light, it is about hope, and it is about love. Those are the true gifts, and they are very, very real.

I pray that you feel the light, hope, and love that surround you always, and I pray that you cherish the true beauty of all around you and all within you.

Merry Christmas and blessings to you.  Jo

Cherish

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