rebelling against low expectations

How To Find Joy When The Holidays Are Hard


Many consider the holidays to be a time of celebration where people give, receive, and spend time with those they love.

However, not everyone has this kind of luxury. Not everyone has a loving family, and others are far away from those they love. Still others have had people pass away or become sick amidst the holidays.

And ironically, for some, in this season meant for joy, joy can be hard to find, and a holiday can seem to be more like a trial, rather than a celebration. So how can one celebrate when the holidays are hard?

1. Know The True Reason for the Season

Celebrations nearly always have a cause. For example, birthdays—celebrating the day you were born. We give gifts, go out to dinner or have parties, sing a special song—these are only a few of the customs. As for Christmas, why are we giving our gifts, why are we singing our songs, and why do we decorate and wear colors of celebration all throughout the season?

We need a reason for our celebration of this season. As for myself, that reason is Jesus. I love the fact that he came to save us from all our sins. For me, this great gift of true love is definitely a cause worth celebrating.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

2. Focus on Goodness and Beauty

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”

If we’re not careful, the holidays can become a source of business and stress. Let’s take the time to smell the roses—well, what’s left of the roses. Some of us will have to stop and smell the snow instead.

We have a Christmas list of gifts God’s already given most of us. But are we leaving these presents unwrapped? Are we too busy to notice? Things like:

  • Epic sunrises and sunsets—God didn’t have to make the sky do this. He could have left it all one color, and the earth would have been just fine. But instead he gave us an artistically epic sky.
  • One-of-a-kind snowflakes—Again, just like the sky, the earth would have no trouble from all snowflakes being alike. Yet, God blesses us with this same kind of uniqueness in every snowflake you see.
  • Adorable pets—God made so many of the animals warm, soft, and cuddly, but he didn’t have to. Though he did, and so we get to watch them be cute, hear them purr, or chirp songs. Animals are a blessing, and I wouldn’t trade my fluffies for five Christmas trees’ worth of presents.
  • Winter air—Cold air smells better than normal air, and millions or billions of us get it all winter.
  • Stars and shooting stars—Stars are beautiful to look at and fascinating to study.
  • Some sort of electronic device—you either have one or have access to one because you are reading this online article. Did you know that the internet has a wealth of knowledge that you could learn? It’s almost like a school in and of itself. To simply have access to this is an amazing blessing.
  • The ability to read—You can read if you are reading this. To be able to read is highly valuable in many jobs and careers.

These are just a few of the good things God gives us daily. Have you been watching any sunrises or sunsets? What about the stars? There is so much beauty that we can miss if our focus is wrong. So let’s remember to be thankful and praiseful of the gifts we do have.

3. Bless Others

There are a lot of discouraged people these days. Maybe you’re one of those people, but that shouldn’t stop you from loving and blessing others. I’ve found that whenever I bless someone or even think about blessing someone, I’m even happier than if I had gotten a gift myself. When we give out of love, happiness is a side effect.

Examples of ways you can bless others:

  • Heartfelt gifts.
  • Paying for someone else’s order in the drive thru.
  • Baking cakes and treats to give and share.
  • Sending a kind text.
  • Complimenting someone.
  • Praying for someone.

4. Remember What Is Good and True

It can be easy to get discouraged about all the wrong things in the world because there are plenty of wrong things to be discouraged about. For some, the holidays may just seem like another trial to get through, another stumbling block to survive. However, we weren’t created to survive.

Surviving came about because of sin entering the world. And we have our Savior who has overcome sin so that we would no longer have to be slaves to it anymore.

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

We were created to live, and to love, and to be loved by our Creator, who loves us more than we could ever dream. Therefore, since we weren’t created to survive, let’s give up on trying to survive or just get through the holidays. Instead, let’s live and let’s love, by leaning into our Savior’s love for us, remembering that he is always good and true no matter what.

Perhaps God meant the holidays to be like a present we can shake and wonder what’s inside, a foreshadowing event, of a day worthy of an ultimate celebration in heaven, where there’s no more sorrow, but where peace and joy is more abundant than the air we breathe. Let’s wait with joy, and share this news with joy and anticipation because we know of a greater good that is to come.

If you look for good, you will find it in every season because we have a Savior who loves us for all time.  So let’s rejoice, despite our trials, and celebrate our Savior—the real meaning of the season.

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About the author

Sunsetta Grace

is a happy writer who loves oceans, stars, and anything sunset related. Christ is her compass and hope. Aside from writing, you might find her reading, learning french, or snuggling with one of her precious kitties.

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By Sunsetta Grace
rebelling against low expectations

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