Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. As the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But Christmas can be a time of loss – where people face the reality of what they do not have – or have any more. Losing a loved one, the end of a significant relationship, or even a loss of income or health, can be another reminder of what someone no longer has. If we aren’t careful, the joy of Christmas is covered over with the emotions of loss, and rather than appreciating what we have or looking forward to what’s to come, we find ourselves in Christmas misery. Several years ago, I consulted two professional Christian counselors in our church. With the help of Jennifer Degler and Elizabeth Ellis I put together some practical ways to deal with loss and Christmas and shared them in a sermon.
Ideally, Christ is the answer. Apart from Christ there is no Christmas peace. These suggestions are not designed to take the place of truth, but to give some practical tips to help you deal with a time of loss at Christmas.
10 Ways to Deal with Loss During Christmastime
1. List your losses.
Death, divorce, injury, finances, children moved out this year – whatever they are – write them down. I’ve personally found journaling to be helpful during a time of loss. It can be therapeutic to admit where you are hurting.
2. Share your pain with others.
Certainly you should share with God, but maybe also with a close friend or with people who have experience dealing with your specific loss. Don’t be ashamed to see a professional counselor. We were designed for community, especially for times like this.
3. Grieve the loss.
Every loss must be grieved. The intensity of the grief may be determined by the intensity of the loss. Some people falsely believe they can just pick up the pieces and move on without really grieving. It’s okay to be human. (I share some tips on grieving HERE.)
4. Resist falling into a sense of total despair.
This is where you live in a false reality that all hope is gone. It’s not. By the way, you don’t do that by ignoring the hurts.
5. Take care of yourself physically.
Eat well, exercise, and get adequate rest. It is more important during a sense of loss.