Thursday, December 18, 2014

Have you ever plugged a strand of Christmas lights in...

…and they are bright and shiny and glittery and magical, until suddenly they start going out, one by one, until the whole strand becomes nothing more than cheap wire with an electrical plug on one end?

You shake the cord. You plug the cord into a different outlet. You shake the cord again.

Sometimes some of the lights flicker on again briefly. And sometimes they just stay totally dark.


There might be times when you stand in that darkness, feeling like everyone else you know has Christmas lights that work. It might even feel like the whole world is filled with sparkle and twinkle and all you have in your grasp is cheap, plastic coated wire that contains no joy, whatsoever.

If things have been difficult for some time, perhaps the lights coming on at all are really the startling thing. That little bit of glow might feel like a broken promise…or the taunt of a world that seems determined to make the darkness absolute.

Loss. Sorrow. Grief. Disapointment. Pain. Worry. Fear. Expectations. Memories.

One by one the lights flicker out. And sometimes they come on, but sometimes it seems that they just continue until it feels like there is no reason to even look for the plug to try anymore.

Christmas in the dark can be a lonely, isolated time.

I wish I had the answers on how to keep those fragile little bulbs from going dark. I wish I had the reasons that life has to be so difficult.

But, I don’t.

The only thing that works for me is even on the blackest of days, I make myself look outside myself. I’m not saying, “Oh, so many people have it worse than me”. I think I’m saying, “Things are pretty lousy right now but if I let them, all the bad things will corrode these lights to the point that they will never work again.” And that is a risk I am unwilling to take. A possibility my heart cannot afford.

So I will continue to play Christmas music loudly, sing carols badly, wrap presents with too much tape and too few ribbons. I will rejoice in my Christmas cards, and drop jingly change into the Salvation Army buckets and I will hope.

And I will hope that if you are sitting in the darkness, the lights will come a-glow for you as well.

Perhaps if we plug all of our light strands together in a sense of community and kindness and prayer and compassion, we can make this holiday just a bit brighter...


…for each of us…no matter if we are sitting in the darkness or in a dazzling, deck-the-hall room!

Once we take down all the holly and the shiny ornaments and throw away the wrapping paper all that really matters are kind words, thoughtful hugs, and finding joy in small moments…

22 comments:

Jeanie said...

You are a shining light, Jenny. Even though your power supply is low right now your inner light shines brightly through.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny you have such a talent for putting feelings into words. This has been a rough year and I don't want my lights to go out forever. Thanks for the reminder.
hugs,
Linda

Ms. A said...

I think I'm in a power failure. Thankfully, others allow their light to shine on me just a little. Not sure what I would do without it, other than be in total darkness.

Janie Junebug said...

Ah, Jenny, what a beautifully written post. It's perfect, absolutely perfect. And I'm glad I sent you a Christmas card.

Love,
Janie

Annesphamily said...

You have such a wonderful way with words!

Gattina said...

You are so right ! Unfortunately for many people Christmas can also become a battle field for family fights ! I too continue to wrap the gifts, have made my decoration and listen to Christmas carols.

Jim said...

Hi Jenny ~~ this is written so lovely. Too bad we have the lonely. They seldom speak up, it could be you or me or even both of us. You spoke for them today. We have a nephew who is now separated and probably they will divorce. Holidays are hard for the alone. I often tell how I spent a thanksgiving in a room over a bar in downtown, alone. A tear jerker story but true.
..

Theresa said...

Oh what a special post! I am going to link back to yours in one of my Christmas posts! This is VERY true, there are SO many with no lights on in their strand of lights! Sending you HUGS and prayers dear Jenny!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

plugging my light in to yours sweetie and holding on until it gets better.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Well, whether you realize it or not, your light shines very brightly just by being you, especially since hosting a blog hop, and being a wife and mother and, etc. Wishing you a holiday filled with much merriment!!

Rita said...

The light always comes back! Without the darkness we couldn't see the stars...or appreciate the light when it returns, for that matter. Sometimes we need the contrast to really appreciate those bright little lights...or even the dimly glowing ones. Sing loudly and keep those eyes to the sky!! love and hugs!! :):)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Beautifully shared my friend. I love that you are forging through even though you're not really feeling it. Fake it till you make it??
Wishing you all the best. Love,
Suz

fredamans said...

Beautifully put!
We all need to find that light, even if a dim glow.
Merry Christmas to you and all the Jenny's.

Betty said...

Very well said Ms. Jenny! You always give me something to think about with posts like this one.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Words of Wisdom, Jenny! Christmas Blessings to you and your family, and a Bright Shiny New Year as well. <3 -Tammy

Sandy McClay said...

Jenny,

I love that last photo, of all of our lights shining together....you are such a wonderful person....did you hear that? You are a wonderful, caring, feeling human being.....
You always manage to write about the feelings we all seem to have but are too afraid to write down....thank you for writing them down for me....Hugs, Sandy

To the Toy Box and Beyond said...

I like this. Very well written. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a good Christmas filled with many memories

Barbara said...

Christmas is feeling good for me this year. I've had quiet and/or sad Christmases in the past, yet still don't understand why this one feels good. I'll just accept it and wish that a little of my bright light will shine on anyone who needs it. Merry Christmas.

Susan Anderson said...

Perfect post, Jenny! And I am sending you my Christmas story poem for tonight (you are the first to see it) because it sort of deals with the same issue…

Love and merry Christmas to you!

=)

EG CameraGirl said...

Christmas is a hard time for many people, Jenny. Sometimes I feel like my light isn't very shiny at all, but it's amazing, as you point out, that kind words and thoughtful hugs can light up someone else and then my light glows a tad lighter too!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Keep shining your light, Jenny! It is as bright as the noonday sun.

Love you, my friend. Prayers that you will have a full recovery.

I am feeling better, but I also have to stay out from under stress as I know you do.

Here's believing a wonderful 2015 for all of us.

Love and all good wishes throughout this season and all the ones to come.

Love you,

Sheila (who has a picture of my FaLala on the blog and whose friend Marsha has hers prominently displayed in her kitchen!!!)

Pat Tillett said...

You are such a great writer Jenny. I felt this post right down to my core. The first third of my life, I HATED the holiday season. For the second third, I was ambivalent, It's taken me a long time, to actually enjoy it, like I do now. You know my background and why I said this. I'm pretty much a happy camper now. What a long, strange trip it's been...