Sometimes the Christmas season evokes joy, anticipation, and reverence. Sometimes it evokes stress, depression, and indifference. (If you are Jewish, I suppose it can evoke some other feelings.) Christmas can be a complicated thing…a discomfort and joy.
For me, Christmas has become a time of remembrance and celebration. I remember my loved ones who shared Christmases past but now have gone. I celebrate the gift of having loved them and having been loved by them. They are particularly present to me during these days. More than anything, I celebrate dear ones who are with me now and the God of uncontrollable mystery who is always near, no matter what season of year or life.
God’s incarnation (God-with-us) at Christmas reminds me that heaven and earth are parts of one reality, and the dear ones who have died are just as alive and present as you and me. Remembrance and celebration have become the joy of Christmas.