By Dr. Glenn Mollette
Make a mental decision that Christmas is going to be great. Our world exists in the space between our ears known as our brains. We can dread or hate something or just decide it's going to be wonderful.
Faking it is not always easy. We can fool people some of the time but we can't fool everyone all the time. The hardest person you actually have to fool is yourself. Sometimes we can fool ourselves for awhile and it's never fun fooling ourselves for a long period of time. Sometimes it's necessary to fool ourselves briefly if we need to convince ourselves of something in order to survive.
For example if you are going to be in a big gathering for Christmas there is probably going to be one or two obnoxious or ridiculous people in the crowd. You may already dread seeing them. Just convince yourself it is okay and that people are different and no one is perfect. Just decide to let ungratefulness, weird or negative comments roll off your back. You can override stupidity with Christmas cheer for a day. Just remember this is only for a day or two.
Also, this Christmas will not bring back any past Christmases. There will be an empty chair or maybe several empty chairs. It may be tough and depressing when we think about how Christmas was a few years back. Christmas will never be the same for those of us missing loved ones and tears often come. Go ahead and cry but determine you won't spend all Christmas day crying. As you remember the past remember what it is about that person or Christmas you miss and hold tight to that joyful remembrance.
Keep in mind that this Christmas is still special because you are here in the world to celebrate the occasion. Whoever the people are in your life today hold them close and be merry together.
From the Old Testament the people of God were instructed by Joshua to "Hold tight to God, your God, just as you've done up to now." (Joshua 23:8) For all of us holding tight to our faith, our family, our friends and our life's focus is important any day and especially Christmas.