I’m glad Christmas is over. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot about Christmas. I love the sights, smells, and textures of Christmas. I love the colors – December in Colorado can be very drab and brown, with only the occasional white snow – but the Christmas colors bring life back to the world with the green trees and red, blue, gold, silver, and yellow decorations. And the Christmas smells – cookies, evergreens, hot chocolate, prime rib, potatoes – they make my mouth water and give me a rumbly in my tumbly. The textures are great, too – velvet, silk, fuzzy blankets, puffy pillows, fleece-lined pants – everything is soft and smooth. My senses are appeased in the middle of a bland and rough season on this earth.

But I’m glad Christmas is over because it is a family holiday. First, I have to say that I have a great family that I love very much, and I enjoy being with them every holiday. But I don’t have my own family. I’m 38 and single – no wife or kids to be with, no one to share the joys of Christmas with, no one to start traditions with, no one to sit around the tree with and make memories with. While I am surrounded by my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I can still feel entirely alone. (It’s a different feeling, and unless you’ve experienced it I don’t think I can describe it to you.)

The holidays have gotten easier over the years, and I’ve learned a lot about myself each Christmas season, but the loneliness remains. Yet, I hold on to the hope which Christmas brings – God is here with me, ever-present in my life, and always by my side. While I have these desires and longings to be with my own family, I lean on and trust in God’s presence to be with me, always, to the very end of the age.

*****

On a personal note, thank you for reading this silly thing each week. As I entered seminary this fall I realized that while many people know me, they don’t really ‘know’ me. This has been an experiment in putting the real me out there for all of you to see. It’s been challenging in bearing my all to you, but it’s been good for me (and hopefully for you, too). I’m not sure at this moment if I will continue in the new year with this thing, or if I should do something different. But I would encourage you (as I do myself), to be truthful to those around you in all things – don’t hide who you are, don’t put up facades, don’t be someone you aren’t. Be you – that’s the person we all want you to be, and the person we want to know. May God’s blessings pour out on you in this coming year, and always.

much love. sheth.

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