Christmas is usually a joyful season, a reason to give gifts of love, as well as an opportunity to remember those less fortunate as we celebrate God’s generosity. But for one who has suffered a loss – be it health, the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, job related or otherwise – joy may seem nonexistent or elusive. This may be the year to try a different celebration. Rather than suppress feelings of loss or sadness, you might use this season of gathering with family and friends to honestly express particular struggles. Theologian Henri Nouwen, who had several periods of depression in his life, offers this wisdom, “The only feelings that do not heal are the ones we hide.” As we move toward Christmas celebrations, be kind to yourself and ponder how this advice may be applied in your own life. If you are unable to feel the “joyful” part of the Christmas season, join us for a time of hope and healing at the Blue Christmas service next Sunday, December 5, at 5 p.m.