The beauty of Christian freedom is that your reactions, your emotional response to a time or season doesn't have to be the same as everyone else's. This is something that we can forget, especially as we start to think that our job as the Church is to make people happy.
Christmastime (known in the Church as "Advent" - but let's face it, it's Christmas Holiday Time to everyone else) is one of those times of the year where there is a big push to be cheery, happy, joyous. Again, that's a good thing - go have a holly, jolly Christmas!
But you know what? For some -- eh, it's not so holly-jolly this year. Maybe someone's gone. Maybe some family is coming back. Maybe it's sad and lonely. And no, I'm not just talking about Connecticut - I;m talking about for your friends, your neighbors.
One of my favorite songs is called "Another Lonely Christmas" by Prince. It's a wonderfully sad love song... and a fine reminder that there are reasons why the canned, packaged emotions that are being sold this time of year... well... they aren't the only emotions in play.
If life has turned that way - let people taste the bittersweet, and don't try to pretend it away. Rather, give comfort... because sometimes the deep joy (not happiness... joy is not happiness - joy is knowing security and love even in the face of the junk of this life) stands out mainly in contrast to the sorrows of this life. There are times we don't want a sappy sweet bouncy Christmas... we want to see Jesus stepping into this world of sorrow, even the very real sorrows we have. We want to see the first coming of Christ and remember the second coming when we will be delivered from these sorrows.
And that is good too.