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I remember Christmas being a wonderful experience for many years.  The joy of getting out of school, family and friends, presents under the tree and food, oh the wonderful food.  In my college years it was a time of seeing old friends and telling and re-telling stories of days gone by followed by a changing of times as work and holidays collided.  Then came the glory years with kids of my own.  The start of the great years, of the exuberance of children and the joy in their eyes and actions.  Those were the best days of my life.  Then came the divorce and Christmas Day changed forever.

Forever changed and forever aware of new realities.  Aware of how many people hurt more than usual at Christmas.  Aware of how many people are suffering and how the Christmas season intensifies the suffering.  Aware how words of joy for some are words that hurt for others.  Aware that while some rejoice in gathering with family and friends, others hurt more being in that environment than being alone and quiet.

I still enjoy the idea of Christmas but the 25th of December is a day I know comes with pain and I hurt for those who are hurting.  This season will be over soon and a new year begins and I pray that those who hurt during this time will find healing and peace in the year to come.

Grace and peace.