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It’s 45 and sunny in D.C. Pretty moderate weather, considering today is the shortest day of the year and the start of some of the coldest.
Winter Solstice means less time for last minute Christmas shopping and more time for cozying by the fireplace (perhaps with a little Schnapps in your nog.)
Along with a warm, fuzzy and long night, the Winter Solstice, wrapped in the glow of Christmas and the coming New Year, brings with it an unlikely gift:
There’s nothing like a long, cold night to remind you just how cold and lonely you are. Right?!
Or, perhaps you don’t feel lonely at all. Maybe you are blessed with the intangible glimmer that only dear family, friends (and good food) can bring.
As a single woman (or man) during the holidays, it’s tempting to shift the focus to feeling sorry for yourself. Hopelessly counting the single years gone, bitterly anticipating your friends’ holiday proposals, dreading another wedding-filled summer. Let’s face it, when you’re single, the holidays can really suck.
BUT it doesn’t have to.
No matter the loves lost, gained, then lost again; dreams deferred or straight up shitty situations, there is an immense amount of hope floating in our lonely moments.
Loneliness, like Christmas, is a great time of reflection. It’s a time to take a look at the light inside of us and see how it can shine brighter in the New Year.
I realized the blessing in loneliness as I sat sobbing on a strangers couch the other night.
Snuggled up by the fireplace, a small group of old and new friends, cheese and cracker crumbs on our laps, watched the best and worst of Christmas movies.
I sniffled quietly during a scene of my all-time favorite movie— Love Actually.
An 8-year-old British boy who was experiencing “the total agony of being in love” ran through airport security and jumped over railings just to say goodbye to the American girl for whom he was Smitten. Ridiculous, I know.
But nothing could stop him.
He believed beyond all doubt that she was his love and, as the profoundly wise Hugh Grant so eloquently narrates at the beginning of the film, “love is everywhere.”
“Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends…. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.”
This Christmas, take a moment to reflect and remember the lonely ones.
Not those longing for love of the romantic sort, but the ones in need of the warmth and comfort of family and friends.
Pray they would find comfort in the love that IS all around.
That the story of the birth of Christ would resonate in their hearts and the fulfillment of a promise, the sign of hope, and unconditional love is theirs.
Christmas, at its core, is about looking up and following the Light of a Hope (and Love) worth waiting for.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good (and long) night.