Christmas is *supposed* to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes. But let’s face it, to many people it’s far from wonderful. In reality, Christmas can be the most painful, gut-wrenching time of the year.

For my family, this Christmas will be very bittersweet. With the loss of my infant nephew earlier this year, each holiday and special occasion since has been tinged with sadness. I imagine that Christmas will be especially hard for us.

I have friends who also find Christmas to be a very bittersweet time. I have single friends who watch other friends get married and start families, and they wonder if they’ll ever have a family of their own. I have friends who are dealing with cancer this Christmas. Friends who are going through divorce. Friends who have suffered the loss of a job or a relationship. Friends living under a constant cloud of depression. Bittersweetness abounds this Christmas.

I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that the birth of Christ meant that He would experience the same heartache and longings that we deal with here on Earth. He knows loneliness, frustration, loss. And in that fact, I rejoice.

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