Not all memories of Christmas bring joy.
The last picture of my father was on Christmas 2016. He is clearly frail but has a big smile in a totally mismatched outfit. After the initial stroke, the feel of the clothing became much more important than color or style. My mom stepped up behind him, sitting in a chair, and they snapped his final picture as he died two weeks later.
I keep that picture on my phone under a file labeled “favorites.” Each year at this time, I take it out and cry. I miss that man more than I ever thought was possible. He was my father and my best friend. And each year, his memory slips further away with every passing Christmas.
This time of year, there will be celebrations and joy for many people. But for some, it will bring up memories of loss and hurt. Unfortunately, Christmas does not bring joy to all.
So this year, be sensitive to others. Say a prayer for those struggling. And most of all, be sure to tell those close to you how much you love them before all you have is old photos and memories.