The Holiday Blues
by Billy Beasley
Departing for the mountains was Troy’s way to avoid the holidays and his birthday that followed three days after Christmas. Sometimes he thought it was his way of waging war with God for the injustice of life. Look at me, God. Here I am, all alone. The breaks of life continually going against me and you never stepped in to make anything right. Not once.
Above is an excerpt from my second novel, The Preacher’s Letter. It was how I felt for many years. I wanted to disappear to a place of solitude before Thanksgiving and not emerge until after the first of the year. And I was angry with God when in actuality my life was broken due to my poor choices.
As I write this, Thanksgiving is a few days away. I have already read a few posts and comments on Facebook. “I can’t wait till January 2.” Others go so far as to write, “I hate the holiday season.” No judgments here, as I have felt the same way.
The holiday season sure can compound loneliness and our disappointments in life can magnify to such an intensity. And we probably all know someone who has lost someone dear to them and this will be their first Holiday Season without them.
So, what do we do? Those of us that enjoy the Christmas season. We can invite these people to simple functions. Maybe ask them to attend church with you. But do it without pressuring them. That won’t help. I know because people tried it with me and it made me want to isolate even more so.
There are many reasons I enjoy Christmas these days. My faith. My wonderful wife, Julie, who has a childlike enthusiasm for Christmas that never waivers. My son, Micah will come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I will choose to be thankful for the good things I have in this life. Are there disappointments? Absolutely, but you can focus on what you don’t have or you can choose to be grateful for what you do have.
I am going to close with a few tips.
1. Keep it simple. At this time, I am so excited that Micah will be home for Thanksgiving. I love my family and Julie’s family. Please don’t misunderstand. But it will be just the four of us that day. Yes, we count Teke, our cattle dog. And I am so looking forward to that. No driving out of town or even crossing the bridge. And unlike many married couples, attending multiple family events. That can prove exhausting, which leads to number 2.
2. You can’t make everyone happy. And sometimes you have to put your foot down-even with family. Traditions are fine but not if they put you under pressure.
3. You can say no to invitations. Don’t overbook.
4. Do not allow the purchase of presents to be a financial burden. Think about your most precious Christmas memories. Are they about the presents you received or are they about moments shared with people you love?
5. Help those that are hurting or lonely but do it quietly.
6. Don’t overserve. Maybe a strange one to some. The first few years that Julie and I have been together, she sang at church for Christmas Eve services and I loved that. But the past few years she has worked for two dental offices and the end of the year can be quite hectic and the practice required to sing multiple Christmas Eve services adds stress that she doesn’t need. She has backed away and I support her in that decision even though I was disappointed at first. Which leads to number seven.
7. Don’t make the season about you.
Billy, Julie & Teke
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
The Preacher’s Letter is his second traditionally published work of fiction. Billy’s shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in his first novel, The River Hideaway—Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’. His third novel, The Girl in the River, releases summer, 2020.