Sunday, December 25, 2016

When Christmas isn't full of joy

If you are beset by loss, illness or despair of any form, Christmas can be unbearable.

So, today, I'm not posting pictures of cute elves. Or reindeer. Or jolly of any sort.

Instead, here's a link to Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed which is a tender, loving book filled with just the kind of thing you might need to hear if Christmas is hard for you.

I love this book with all my heart.
I keep copies in my office just in case someone comes by who needs one.

Maybe it's just what you need today.




Even if it feels like it, you're not alone.

22 comments:

french sojourn said...


This community has been here for each of us, as a reef for our literary, daily, and personal growth for so long. Thank you Ms. Shark for this seaside version of a 40 acre wood.

I hope this coming new year brings what you may have feared to want.

Cheers Hank.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Christmas blessings, Janet. And thank you for your pastoral care of all us Reiders here.

Linda Strader said...

Christmas has been hard for me since my mom died 7 years ago. This year my sister and her husband came to spend the weekend with me. We laughed and cried, and all in all, we did better this year than the past 6. I loved this book by Cheryl Strayed, and need to read it again and again...

nightsmusic said...

I buried my mother Christmas Eve morning when Oldest Daughter was just 13 months old. Christmas was very hard for a number of years, but eventually, that ridiculous cliche about Time Healing All Wounds won over though It didn't heal, but it got easier.

To all the Reiders here, I hope you have exactly the kind of holiday that refreshes and renews and for any of you experiencing loss, a peaceful respite and new strength.

Sherry Howard said...

What a thoughtful column you've posted at 1 AM on Christmas Day! Most of us ARE missing someone important, and I've heard many people this year especially talk about that. I'm in the missing someone terribly category, but I still find a lot of comfort in the soothing pause of our American holidays. While many people make them rushed and hectic, many others slow down long enough to greet and meet strangers, and wish them happy holidays. Happy Holidays to Janet and this wonderful little community of Reiders!

Julie Weathers said...

I missed BJ's comment yesterday as I started my comment when there was one up and hurriedly finished it much later. It is hard and my heart goes out to you. I still find myself picking up boxes of Russell Stover candy when I go grocery shopping to mail to Dad so he can have a few pieces and pass the rest out to nurses and other residents. Then I'll get a few aisles away and think, "Oh, yes. I don't need to mail him these anymore."

I bought two of those books the first time Janet recommended it. I had no idea why, but my former editor forever friend has been having a rough time of it lately. So, I think I know why now.

We had Christmas Eve dinner at my son's and his family's last night. It was wonderful watching the boys open gifts. They are eight and three. Every single gift was awesome to them. "Dad! I got a book!" "Mom! I got Minion socks!"

Both of them stopped opening gifts when they got their books to look at their books and had to be told to put the books away to finish opening gifts.

I keep telling myself when I have money I will have a place in Texas to escape the Wisconsin winter, but boy would I miss having Christmas with my book-loving minions and my larger minions also, of course.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and whatever else you may celebrate.

BJ Muntain said...

Thank you so much, Janet! Christmas has been different, but not too different this year. We're missing Dad, but my 5-year-old nephew is doing his best to be a distraction. He's very good at that. We also have lots of chocolate. Chocolate eases a lot of problems.

Once again, a Merry Christmas to all Reiders and especially to Ms. Janet.

Theresa said...

Here's hoping everyone finds a bit of joy somewhere, somehow today.

Lennon Faris said...

Thank you, Janet, for everything you do.

Wishing and praying that all of you Reiders find peace and at least a little bit of joy today.

Marie McKay said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Whatever You Celebrate! Hope everyone finds a little peace today.

Claire Bobrow said...

Dear Janet,
Wishing you a day full of joy and peace, and the same to all the Reiders.

When the going is tough, Tiny Beautiful Things will definitely fill the cracks in your heart. It's tremendous, just like this community. May your 2017 be filled with many tiny beautiful things, and books!




RosannaM said...

I wish all of you peaceful times during this season, hopefully with a book or two at your side.

I will have to check out that book, Janet. It looks lovely.

Brigid said...

Merry Christmas to all. May your dragons be slain, your fond memories the sharpest, and the moments of connection strong enough to see you through.

It's a grieving, "should have been" kind of year here, but also one of joy and gratitude. They coexist well enough. Our plots are complicated like that.

Thinking of all of you.

Brigid said...

Also, BJ, slavite jego'

CynthiaMc said...

Merry Christmas, everyone. You are loved.

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm so glad you posted this. There are so many people that are alone and often overlooked. To everyone Happy Holidays. Hang in there, it will get better.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kdjames.com said...

A beautiful sentiment, Janet. Thank you for that, and for all you do for us throughout the year.

The pressure to be *merry and festive* at this time of year can easily get to be too much, even if you're not struggling with troubles. We celebrated last night and it was quiet and subdued, yet lovely, and fit our moods. Good food, good company.

Wishing all of you peace and comfort and joy, whatever and however you celebrate. Or even if you don't.


stacy said...

Janet, I bought this the last time you recommended it and it's gotten me through some rough times. Thanks!

Merry Christmas, all!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

May this day and the weeks ahead bring blessings to Janet. The first Christmas in her new digs.

Her blog ignited the flame for good fiction that tides me through the thick or thin.

Good thoughts to all of you.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

The day after.
Janet will have a new post up in probably less than an hour.
So to all you amazing Reiders, especially the ones struggling through, the words of REM.
"...hold on, everybody hurts, everybody cries, hold on."

For all of us may the best be ahead, always.
Love you guys.

BJ Muntain said...

I missed some comments yesterday, in my hurry. It was a busy day. I'm sorry.

Brigid: Yay!

Julie: Thank you so much. We had a smaller Christmas than usual, for many reasons, but it worked out well.