Christmas in Hard Times

December 25th, 2008

Christmas this year is not as joyous for some people as it was in the past.  More people are out of work, companies are slowing down or shutting down, retirement plans for some have been diminished or destroyed by investment losses, and in general the economic future looks bleak.  In some families, children will be disappointed to find that Santa left fewer gifts than they had hoped for.

Like every Christmas, there are also people who for various reasons have virtually nothing.  Some, including children, are homeless.  Others are elderly and without resources or family support.  Kind souls in their towns and neighborhoods will help them, as they do throughout the year and always at Christmas.  But this year, there is less to give.

Under these circumstances it might be natural for joy to yield to despair.  And for those susceptible to holiday depression, this year could be worse than others.

Despite these challenges, or perhaps because of them, many people will find extra comfort and joy in their families and among their friends.  There may not be enough money to make this a normal Christmas, but all the important things are still free–love among family and friends, the spirit of giving even when there isn’t enough for yourself, and a yearning for the sense of peace and brotherhood that Christmas always brings.

There is always hope for a better future.  The economy may be bad, but it will improve with time.  Jobs are lost, but new jobs are found.  No matter how bad times may be, people will still help those in greatest need.  And most important of all, those who love you will still be there.  Even children who didn’t get everything they wanted under the Christmas tree will understand that they are still loved.  And we’ll all be OK.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes to all of us for a better year in 2009!


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2 Responses to “Christmas in Hard Times”



  1. doris |

    Great sentiment,but all our children are really spoiled,so as our mothers did ,we will scrimp and scrounge to get for them. You are an optimist,I didn’t knoew that about you! Me,too,it will get better.We just have to all get through Christmas.


  2. Lillie |

    I wanted to comment before, but work and sleep prevented it. Amazing article, Tom!! I loved it. As Doris says, great sentiment! I definitely agree that family and friends are what makes Christmas special and worthwhile. My son being away at Christmas made me realize the degree of the family’s value to one’s happiness. He said yesterday when I saw him that it will be his last Christmas away from his family, which brought great joy to his mother!! Of course, being his birthday on Christmas made it harder, too. I have seen so many people giving so much when they actually had so little this Christmas to give in the first place, it certainly has shown me the meaning of loving one another. A lady I had for a patient in the hospital on Christmas told me her granddaughter was in a big city in a motel, eating one meal every other day, and she had found her a job nearby so she could come home. The amazing part of the story was this lady was 89 years old!!! Finding her granddaughter a job to be able to eat!!! This lady was very poor herself but found a way to help another in need. She really touched my heart, and made me realize again the need for priorities–such as food for the hungry before gifts or luxuries. I hope my family (brother and sister especially) knows how much I think of them now, each day, and especially at these holidays!! Love to them and all my family. Lillie


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