This is Thanksgiving week…. Friday is “Black Friday” which is the official kick-off to the Christmas season. The holiday season, for the most part, is a time of fun and getting together with family and friends. For one month, we will listen to, primarily, up-beat Christmas music. We will watch movies that warm our hearts about the Christmas season and we will plan our family gatherings. Andy Williams sang a song that went “It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year.” But, for many people, Christmas is not the MOST wonderful time. Just today I read a facebook post where a person admitted they would like to skip Christmas. They aren’t alone. Many people feel that way. So, what do you say to someone who is dreading the holidays? A couple of things. First, be realistic about the holidays. The television commercials, the Christmas television specials and the music can make us think that Christmas is utopia… just a PERFECT time of the year. But that’s not true. The commercials are just that… commercials. The shows… well, they are produced by Hollywood. REALITY is, the holidays can be tough so.. BE REALISTIC. What makes the holiday season so tough? For most people, it’s a family issue. Families have issues. None of our families are perfect. We handle that throughout the year but when the holidays roll around, we WANT our family to be perfect. You know.. just like the Norman Rockwell painting. But that’s not reality. So, if your family is not perfect, don’t expect it to suddenly heal in a month. I mean, it could; but, it’s not likely. So, don’t let a bad family situation ruin Christmas. Do the best you can with it. CHOOSE to enjoy the holidays. Ok, maybe your situation is not perfect. But, don’t let an imperfect situation ruin the holidays. You can choose to enjoy it. Do the best you can. Look around and ask the Lord to bring to mind someone else who may be struggling. You might invite them to your home for Christmas dinner. Or, get out and go look at Christmas lights… attend a church Christmas musical.. but DON’T stay in your house and dwell on what you wish Christmas was. Help someone. Maybe you could volunteer somewhere to help people and to get your mind off what you don’t have. Bake some cookies and take them to someone’s home. Finally… some who read this might say “I’m not like this… I have a wonderful family etc… We LOVE Christmas.” Ok.. you may. Why not look around and think of someone who doesn’t have family and invite them to celebrate Christmas with you. I know.. Christmas can be lonely.. but it shouldn’t be that way. Jesus came to this earth to help people. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we need to help people as well. So… if you are dreading Christmas, you aren’t alone but, you don’t have to dread it. Be realistic about it… Choose to enjoy the holidays and determine to help someone. Christmas is about Jesus birth. Jesus loves you. He came to this earth to die for your sins. Remember that this holiday season.