Christmas time is supposed to be about love and giving and coming together and sharing and…well you get the idea.  And it is.  But it is also a time when a spot light is shown on those situations where that is not the case.  When everyone is supposed to be happy and hanging out with friends and around love and family, those who don’t have family, who have negative situations going on in their lives, who are alone, who are struggling, can feel not only left out but feel that their situation is made worse because they can’t live up to what everyone else has.

And fake sentimentality, the gifts that come out of pity, the half-hearted invites from people that don’t actually want them there can make things a thousand times worse.  Trying to make the holiday and it’s them work for everyone and every situation is like trying to fit a full-figured woman into a size Zero skinny jean.  It just isn’t ever going to work and damage can be done trying.  So this season, let’s not do that.  Let’s stop worrying about the what the holiday should be and figure out what it could be.  Let’s let go of the preconceived notion of what things should look like and make the holiday the best it can be with what we have to give.

In some situations that might mean creating a safe space for someone that doesn’t have any.  For another it could be just being present so that they feel acknowledged and heard.  Truly listening without judgement is an amazing gift that few of us give any more.  Perhaps it’s not an invite that the person needs, but the knowledge that they are truly welcome.  Which comes not from an invite thrown over a shoulder or slipped into the end of a conversation on your way out the door, but with an actual conversation where you look them in the eye and say “We’d really like you here and this is what we’re doing.  Would you like to join us?”